Skills for Success program in Craig seeking applicants |

Skills for Success program in Craig seeking applicants

Bridget Manley

Susan Whinery

Susan Whinery recently asked a group of 15 Moffat County Alternative School students to raise their hands if they'd ever applied for a job.

Nearly every hand went up, she said.

But, of that group, only two students were employed, she added.

Skills for Success is a program designed to address that issue by teaching students what they need to thrive in and outside the workplace.

"The program is designed to get kids better prepared to enter the workplace," Whinery said, adding that the program also teaches life skills.

She's looking for more participants to sign up for the program this fall, which is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, and is scheduled to start Oct. 10. She needs at least 30 students enrolled, but as of Friday, only 23 had signed up.

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The program is broken into five modules that focus on skills including personal finance, knowing employer expectations and healthy choices. Each module contains activities designed to prepare students for the workforce and life after graduation.

In the personal finance module, for example, students make a budget "to find out how expensive it really is to live on your own," she said.

The 10-week program also requires participants to write a resume and teaches them how to fill out a job application.

These skills are crucial to filling what, in Whinery's experience, are major gaps in young adults' approach to the workplace.

"They don't know what is expected of them on a job, and often they react emotionally instead of thoughtfully," she said. "Many of them don't know how to build a resume, and they don't realize how important the application and the resume are to getting an actual interview."

The program culminates with a mock interview, Whinery said, adding that students get feedback on their performance.

Classes are offered from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesdays and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, she said. Participants must log three hours of class time a week but can choose which time best fits their schedule.

Students who complete the program stand to gain essential skills for the workplace, but they also can earn more tangible rewards.

For each module they complete, students earn $20 in Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks. They also can earn raffle tickets that could win them a laptop computer, an iPad or an iPod Touch.

This year, Skills for Success—which operates under the auspices of the Boys and Girls Club of Craig—is funded by a one-time $15,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation. Local businesses also contribute to the program.

Whinery stressed that Skills for Success isn't intended to supplant similar efforts at MCHS.

"This program is meant to compliment and reinforce what the school is teaching, not compete" with it, she said.

Students can get an application from the Moffat County High School library or from MCHS Counselor Paula Duzik. The final deadline to apply is Friday.

For more information about the Skills for Success program, call Whinery at 629-5453.

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At a Glance …

• Skills for Success program seeking participants.

• Program open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in Moffat County.

• Skills for Success designed to teach students workplace and life skills.

• Applications available at the Moffat County High School library or from MCHS Counselor Paula Duzik.

• The deadline to apply is Friday and completed applications can be turned in to Duzik.

• For more information, call program coordinator Susan Whinery at 629-5453.