Business and Education Working Together To Retain Our Youth With Rewarding Careers and Jobs

This regional workforce development initiative is led by regional business organizations Commerce Chenango, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, and Otsego County Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with DCMO BOCES area school districts to create mentoring relationships to improve opportunities to explore local careers and jobs.

The Mentoring Program at a Glance

  • Our goal is to increase graduates participation in the local job market and student retention in our community with local jobs and careers as the retention tool.
  • The mentoring communications are centered on regional employment opportunities and rewarding career opportunities.
  • 12th grade students apply to benefit from free mentoring services using an online platform.
  • Mentoring sessions are conducted at dates and times convenient for both the mentor and the mentee. This includes after school hours.
  • This is a virtual mentoring program where students select the mentor that best fits their interests and goals
The Mentoring Process

Profile Creation
Mentors will create an online profile sharing information about experience, industry background, and talents available for discussions and guidance.

Student Recruitment
DCMO BOCES will be working with students to prepare them for mentoring sessions. Starting in October 2023, graduating seniors and juniors will review the Mentor Profiles and select the mentor that best fits their needs and preferences. It is important that the student finds a mentor they can work with and that has the personality that works best for their needs. Regardless of industry or jobs, students will have the ultimate choice to select the mentor.

Mentoring Tracks
Mentors chosen to conduct mentoring sessions will schedule 15 to 30 minute sessions (minimum of four sessions) with students using the available calendar choices for meetings. The calendar will be developed during the Mentor Recruitment process so that times available are entered in the calendar ahead of time. All sessions will be done through zoom meetings at the convenience of the Mentor’s chosen location. Students will join meetings from a DCMO BOCES designated mentoring suite.

Students will agree to a code of conduct that includes abstaining from sharing personal information.

For students who are under 18 years of age, the guardian will approve access to the program

Evaluation
Upon completion of the Mentoring Track, both the Mentor and the Student will complete a brief online evaluation capturing the experience and ideas to improve the Mentoring Program in the future. All information will be recorded for review and analysis. However, mentor and student information will be confidential and protected.

Why Be A Mentor?

The Return On Your Investment of Two Hours of Mentoring Time…

  • Get to know the graduates
  • Pre-screen the candidates
  • Have candidates for employment
  • Pre-qualify potential employees
Role of Mentors
  • Mentors complete an online enrollment process that includes a training session to best prepare them for the volunteer mentoring program
  • Mentors introduce students to the culture of work, focus on career development and the pathway for advancement and success
  • The mentors strive to Inspire students to research and learn more about local opportunities
  • Celebrate the students efforts and outputs
  • When appropriate, mentors provide opportunities for students to participate in work experiences, internships or other opportunities with the Mentor’s organization
  • Introduce students to opportunities outside of the workplace to learn skills that could promote career advancement including higher education preparation
  • Introduce students to individuals outside of the workplace that can impart skills or open opportunities for the mentee to become a more well-rounded adult
  • Commits to at least one student – 4 mentoring sessions of 15 to 30 minutes
  • Makes arrangements to access robust internet connection for clear communications
  • Communicates with the Mentee to coordinate mentoring sessions
  • Conducts mentoring sessions as planned
  • Evaluates mentee’s participation
  • Offers suggestions for program improvement during the exit interview session
What a Good Mentor Does
  • Celebrate the mentee’s efforts
  • Acknowledge their outputs and coach them to continue to improve their effort
  • Are inquisitive about the mentee’s skills and match their talents to opportunities
  • Listens more than they speak, mentees are looking for someone to help them sort out ideas and identify pathways within the job market and local opportunities
  • Write positive and encouraging notes and shares them after the mentoring session
  • Provides the mentee with materials that they can utilize to further research their interest
  • Avoids negative comments and criticism

Understands the diversity of upbringing and family limited support – they elevate the hopes not highlight the shortcomings

Timeline for Implementation

(Sep-Oct-Nov) Mentor enrollment, training and preparation
(Dec, Jan, Feb) Schools share information with students and encourage participation
(Mar, Apr, May) Mentoring sessions take place
(Jun, Jul, Aug) Program evaluations and completed and mentors are recognized

Let’s Start the Process

The Chamber and our program partners are currently developing an online platform to facilitiate registration, training, mentoring sessions, and evaluation.  More information about this regional program and partnership is here.

To start your journey as a mentor, click here.