Wednesday, December 23, 2015

YMCA receives Branning award. West St. Paul organization recognized by Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board

The West St. Paul YMCA received the Willis E. Branning Excellence in Youth Employment Services Award at the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board's (WIB) annual legislative and awards event Dec. 11.
The award is presented to an organization, employer, individual or a program that has demonstrated a commitment to and effectiveness in preparing young people ages 14–21 to enter the workforce. St. Francis Regional Medical Center sponsors the award for a Scott County recipient, and Dakota Electric sponsors the award for a Dakota County recipient. It is named for Will Branning, a long-time Dakota County commissioner and advocate for youth and youth employment opportunities.
The West St. Paul YMCA has been working in collaboration with the Dakota County Youth Program for more than three years via HIRED, a non-profit WorkForce Center partner. The YMCA's local efforts in youth employment were led by Laura Day and Teri Grube. 
The YMCA has been a valuable resource in providing internship opportunities to the youth participating in the program. Over the last three years, 20 youth have successfully completed internships either in the child care area or in member services. Of those 20, more than half have been hired on permanently.  The YMCA has shown consistency in hiring these young people and has demonstrated a practice of mentoring young people in employment, through skill and personal development, toward long-term success.
"Both Teri and Laura have displayed such patience and dedication in providing a wonderful learning environment for all of these youth. They have both done a great job in providing effective training before and during their internships," noted Rachel Grosskurth, who nominated them for the award.  "Additionally, both Teri and Laura take time out of their days to meet with staff and the student to conduct a job interview and give a tour of the facility. The YMCA has displayed patience and understanding, while being aware of the situations of many of the youth in the program. These opportunities have created positive results for many youth and have been instrumental in keeping many of these youth on track, out of trouble and in school."

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