The St. Louis Regional Youth Employment Coalition, in partnership with the Clark-Fox Family Foundation, has launched Blueprint4Careers, a free web platform that connects students and young people to training programs for middle-skill jobs.
The open and free platform is accessible to any individual across the region and will be marketed specifically to youth ages 17-25 living in in St. Louis and North St. Louis County.
Featuring content from the Nine Network’s American Graduate initiative, the platform allows users to explore high-demand occupations that offer livable wages and career advancement opportunities without a four-year degree, learn more about what it looks like to work in our region’s high-growth industries, and create an account to find free or affordable work training programs.
“We know there are numerous high-quality credentialing and apprenticeship programs in the St. Louis region, however there is a lack of awareness among young people – particularly with youth of color,” said Katie Kaufmann, director, Ready By 21 St. Louis.
“Blueprint4Careers will strengthen our regional talent base by better connecting young people to education and training programs that lead to middle-skill jobs and support their success in life.”
Middle-skill occupations are an essential part of Missouri’s workforce and currently account for four out of every 10 jobs, according to the Missouri Economic Research. Blueprint4Careers provides direct access for young people to navigate and participate in career-accelerating opportunities and fills the demand for middle-skill occupations that will help maintain a strong regional economy by promoting educational programs that meet workforce needs.
“Our region’s youth are the future of our workforce,” said Maxine Clark, CEO of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop. “For our region to thrive and continue to grow, we must provide opportunities for our youth to develop the skills they need to succeed. By increasing career visibility and readiness with Blueprint4Careers, we are investing in tomorrow’s workforce.”
Blueprint4Careers is the newest platform in the Blueprint4 suite created by Clark. Launched in 2015, Blueprint4SummerSTL provides free and easy access to thousands of summer opportunities across the St. Louis region for students ages 3-18. Blueprint4Summer College Prep lists information about pre-college and college access programs for high school students on university campuses in all 50 states.
Blueprint4Careers now rounds out the resource suite of student trajectories by listing information about career credentialing and apprenticeship programs in the St. Louis region.
Founded in 2018, the St. Louis Regional Youth Employment Coalition is made up of 25 partners, and aims to shift the population level unemployment rate for African Americans ages 20-24, which is currently five times higher than the region’s overall unemployment rate.
Partners include Accenture, Better Family Life, Covenant House Missouri, Clark-Fox Family Foundation, Family and Workforce Centers of America, Fathers’ Support Center, Ferguson Youth Initiative, Kingdom House, MERS Goodwill, Midwest CyberCenter, MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Nine Network, NPower, Ready By 21, SLATE Missouri Job Center, Special School District of St. Louis County, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Saint Louis Community College, St. Louis County Department of Human Services, St. Louis Internship Program, St. Louis Regional Chamber, STL Youth Jobs, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., and United Way of Greater St. Louis.
For more information about Blueprint4Careers visit, http://blueprint4.com/careers/.