Student Career Path Awareness: Getting Youth Ready for the Workforce


Ask any employer in Morgan County what qualities are missing in today’s younger generation of employees and they’ll probably tell you it’s showing up to work on time or at all, communication, hard work ethic, and more.


There’s not a lack of work available in communities like Martinsville and Mooresville, but employers are having a hard time filling jobs with people who want to work consistently.


The Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) understands there’s a lack of awareness about skills, both life and work-related, that are needed to fill living wage jobs and it’s a real problem for local employers. That’s why CFMC is working with educators and businesses to help bridge the gap between local employers and employees.


Did you know CFMC helps fund the Artesian Business PRIDE (Persistence, Respectfulness, Initiative, Dependability, Efficiency) Program at Martinsville High School? Open to all high school seniors, this program is an opportunity for students to develop soft skills, such as communication and accountability, in order to help them become more marketable to future employers. Go to for details.


Cornerstone OnDemand®, a company who helps organizations recruit, train, retain, and manage employees, has identified these skills necessary for students to successfully enter the workforce:


·         Workplace skills such as reliability, punctuality, problem solving, decision making, adaptability, relationship building, and completing tasks on time.

·         Life skills like balancing a checkbook, filing taxes, budgeting, and self-care (personal hygiene).

·         Communication – Being able to effectively communicate with others, whether it’s face-to-face, on the phone, or via email. Social media, such as Facebook updates, isn’t the standard mode of communication for many employers.

·         Accept failure as a part of life. Many kids today are afraid to fail, and this hinders their ability to be creative and learn something new.


Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, your help is needed to prepare our youth for the workforce. Talk to your children/students about the kind of work they want to do, identify the necessary skills, and create an action plan. There may be classes they need to take before they graduate or a skillset they need to learn. When educators and parents work together, students have a greater chance for success, both personally and professionally.


CFMC has identified real solutions such as funding to implement career path awareness and coaching programs in our schools. Be a part of the solution and give today to change lives tomorrow.