Flint and Genesee Group introduces new and improved TeenQuest Program for Flint teens

FLINT, Michigan — The Flint & Genesee Group’s Education & Talent division is excited to open an upcoming session on February 21st for the new and improved TeenQuest program, a free pre-employment training program for any teen between the ages of 14-19, in 9-12 grade who lives in Genesee County. 

“We prepare students so that employers only need to teach the job at hand without having to build other important skills such as communication, time management, or taking initiative,” said James Avery, director of Talent Development for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent.

Though the program is not new to the Flint community, this year, Flint & Genesee Education & Talent has shifted its usual schedule to reach a broader audience of young people and allow further flexibility. This initiative is hoped to maximize student participation and skill building.

According to Avery, “our program is open to all Genesee County teens enrolled in any type of school whether it be public, private, charter or homeschooling. Students don’t need to attend the school in which TeenQuest is being held to attend the program, they just need to be a Genesee County resident!”

The original idea for TeenQuest came from local employers interested in supporting a program that would prepare potential employees to enter the workforce prepared and highly skilled. From this program, Flint businesses hope to increase the quality and skill set of the local workforce, while exposing teens to transferable skills.

Two students practice handshaking during TeenQuest's job preparedness program.
“At the time it was developed, there was a clear gap in the skills students had when entering the workforce. Employers weren’t equipped to train students on the soft skills needed to work a job. That is where TeenQuest comes in,” said Avery.

According to Avery, “Our five-week program teaches students what it takes to get and keep a job. The program covers everything from writing a resume to the interview process. It also teaches skills that employers are looking for to ensure our graduates will stand up and stand out in an interview and on the job.”

Through participating in TeenQuest, students can expect to learn the following skills:
 
  • Interviewing
  • Character development
  • Conflict resolution
  • Business etiquette
  • Positive mental attitude
  • Teamwork and conflict resolution skills
  • Application and resume preparation
  • Managing change
  • Goal setting
  • Communication skills
  • Taking initiative
  • Financial literacy
  • Workplace ethics

Once students complete the program, they will be exposed to the many diverse opportunities that
Flint and Genesee County have to offer.

“Many times, students in our area don’t see the potential impact they can make professionally in our area, but through exposure to various businesses and non-profits through TeenQuest and our employment program Summer Youth Initiative, students are able to see the different types of industries we have here,” said Avery.

Though the program is only open to teenagers, one of the ways the Flint & Genesee Education & Talent encourages the local community to get involved, is by spreading the word and encouraging teens to register for TeenQuest. 

A student participates in a mock interview as part of TeenQuest's job preparedness program.There are also several opportunities for community members and local business leaders to help students practice their skills by assuming the role of an interviewer for TeenQuest’s mock interviews. 

However, TeenQuest is not the only initiative welcoming community support. Community members can get involved with Flint & Genesee Education & Talent’s Summer Youth Initiative by self-volunteering or encouraging a local business owner, looking for employees to partner with the program.

“We want to expose students to as many careers and industries as we can. Having a diverse employer base helps us do that,” said Avery.

To learn more about TeenQuest and register for upcoming sessions click here. To learn more about youth programs offered by the Flint & Genesee Education & Talent division, click here.

Read more articles by Brianna Nargiso.