The United Way for Southeastern Michigan's mission is to mobilize the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways. Within their education work, the College and Career Pathways Team leads a Linked Learning model in partnership with schools across Detroit.
United Way enlisted Strategic Community Partners to work with the Education and College and Career Pathways Team to create a continuum of fairs directly intersecting with their education work across Linked Learning schools.
The Career Connections Fair in May 2017 was the first (of three) fairs, partnering with Grow Detroit's Young Talent, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Mayor's Youth Workforce Sub-Committee, and countless other partners. The Career Explorations Fair was designed with three goals: engaging 500 Linked Learning high school juniors, providing programming and exploration opportunities focused on defined college and career pathway pillars, and partnering with GDYT to get Linked Learning youth hired. The fair engaged 687 youth attendees (including 565 Linked Learning youth), resulted in over 300 job offers (including 165 Linked Learning offers), and engaged over 80 partners and facilitators, 115 volunteers, and 65 employers. Strategic Community Partners designed the fair continuum, specific fair design, led ongoing planning efforts, secured and managed facilitators and partners, and facilitated day-of execution. Venue sourcing, confirmation, and ongoing communication and logistics were also within Strategic Community Partners’ scope. Following the Career Exploration Fair, a post-fair engagement plan was designed and provided for integration into the Linked Learning curriculum.
The Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair was held in November 2017, the second of three fairs in an annual year continuum. Strategic Community Partners has led collaborative design efforts, including focus groups with high school freshmen, to create a vision and detailed programming. Ongoing planning, youth recruitment, as well as all facilitator and partner engagement was also led by Strategic Community Partners. The fair engaged more than 1800 freshman students from across 25 high schools in the Detroit Public Schools Community District in opportunities focused on planning for life, making connections, and building career awareness. Students were able to engage in 15 workshops hosted by 18 facilitators, with 52 vendor booths staffed by 175 partners, and in ongoing activities including a social-media lab, a professional headshot station, and on-site high school and college counseling. As with the May fair, Strategic Community Partners designed the fair continuum, specific fair design, led ongoing planning efforts, secured and managed facilitators and partners, and facilitated day-of execution. Following the Career Exploration Fair, a post-fair engagement plan was designed and provided for integration into the greater College and Career Pathways work.
To learn more about United Way for Southeastern Michigan, click here.