Last October, I shared a Chief’s Corner blog post that detailed our “Game Plan” for growing Scouting. A key focus of that plan was on growing our Exploring program. Nearly one year later, the program continues to expand through a unique partnership.
Recently at our annual Top Hands conference, we announced a new engagement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to bring more career opportunities to youth across the country. Through this partnership, local U.S. Chamber outposts will coordinate opportunities for area business leaders and Chamber members for mentorship programs across 12 industry sectors.
We know all of our programs can make a real difference in the lives of youth and prepare them for the future. Exploring is providing direct career-readiness training at a time when job applicants have to be even more competitive to succeed. And it’s unique from other internship and job-shadowing programs because it fosters relationships between young adults and future employers who can guide them to their chosen career.
This partnership builds upon the growth Exploring is experiencing across the country. Recently the New York Police Department announced a record number of recruits in its East Harlem Law Enforcement Exploring program. This is encouraging. Not only are more youth benefitting from the program; they also are taking interest in learning about law enforcement in a positive environment.
At the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference this summer, I saw first-hand how Exploring was setting these young adults up for success in long-term career paths, and inspiring them to make a difference in their local communities. Although it is of keen importance for the law enforcement field, that sentiment applies to all of the career fields Exploring offers. We are making a positive impact on young adults (and, in turn, their communities) with all of our programs: fire and EMS; social services; law and government; the sciences; arts and humanities; communications and business.
The growth we’ve seen in Exploring is inspiring, especially during recruitment season. I hope this momentum continues as we work to grow all of our programs this fall.