Teen Employment Conference

June 1, 2018

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A Record Breaking 220 Youth Attend 7th Annual Conference — Despite Power Outage!


On the morning of April 28th, YouthForce staff and a cohort of volunteer YouthForce interns arrived at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club to host an anticipated 200 youth for our 7th Annual Conference. Unbeknownst to us, a  recent incident resulted in a power outage spanning several blocks of Martin Luther King Jr Way South. In true YouthForce fashion, all staff and interns remained calm and prepared to follow through with the day’s activities.

To everyone’s admitted relief, the power was up and running just before a happy onslaught of 60 volunteers arrived from United Way, Boeing Women in Leadership, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, JC Penny and several other Seattle-area companies, along with a final tally of 220 youth, making this our highest attended conference ever.


We offered 17 career-oriented workshops throughout the day. Every single one of them was 100% volunteer led, with workshop hosts providing relevant and up-to-date career content for our youth. This year’s TEC workshops covered a diverse spectrum of career topics, including finding your sense of self as a person of color in the workplace, how to find and apply for a job, tips on the dos and don’ts of professional attire, college application time, practice and onsite interviews, as well as a college and career panel, to list a few.

What is the most challenging part of being a person of color in your field? – TEC Youth Attendee

Our youth attendees were instrumental in the success of these workshops – their thought-provoking questions drove the energy of the day and pushed these career topics to new levels. In one instance, during the career panel, a youth attendee probed the panel members to reflect on the most challenging part of being a person of color in each of their fields. The panel had an opportunity to speak on this. One panel member, in particular, responded with complete honesty saying, “Being a black woman in the field of Law means working 10 times harder than everyone else. Every single day. But when you get where you want to go, it’s all worth it. You just have to keep going.”

The practice interviews are always a favorite for our youth and volunteers. Rasheeda Grant from United Way led this part of the day and did an outstanding job encouraging youth to share what they learned from this process. One of the biggest takeaways was a common theme throughout the day: that in the professional world, showing your true personality is equally as important as communicating in a professional manner.

I learned that it’s really important to show your personality in an interview, even when you’re nervous and want to come across as professional. – Jose, 2018 TEC Attendee



We are grateful to every youth, volunteer and vendor who made this day possible. And we look forward to working together to continue creating opportunities for the youth who need it most. Check out this 50 second video for a snapshot of all the TEC highlights!


Sponsoring Partners| WorkForce Development Council, Starbucks, KeyBank

Program Partners | Seahawks, Sounders FC, CenturyLink Field, TrueNorth, Cafe Red, Acumatica, Sanctuary Art Center, Walmart, Alaska Airlines, Amazon

Workshop Hosts | Boeing Women in Leadership, Seattle University, FairWork Center, United Way, RadioActive, Uphoria, JC Penny, WorkSource


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