As we look to the future, we have to ask ourselves, “How are we preparing the youth in our communities to step into the workplace and thrive?” Through my work as the Director of Training and Program Development for MENTOR New York, I know the power of mentoring and community. Now more than ever, it’s critical to invest in building pipelines for young people entering the workforce, giving them the opportunity to learn necessary skills and gain the support systems needed to excel.
Mentoring is an investment in human capital. We know young people are more likely to succeed within the work environment when they already have some of the skills and knowledge needed for a workplace. Businesses can leverage mentoring to help equip young people with those skills through the development of quality relationships with current professionals. The Power of Relationships Report, a study done by MENTOR National, reported nearly half of Americans believe career development and retention of young people is a core support that mentoring can provide. This can be seen in practice through Catholic Charities of Buffalo’s Workforce and Education Services program.
Through their program, Catholic Charities recently partnered with MENTOR New York to leverage mentoring as a tool to infuse a mentoring mindset into their workforce development initiatives with students ages 16 to 24. Jeffrey Conrad, Director of Workforce and Education at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, said, “Many individuals who enroll in our educational or workforce development programs have barriers that prohibit them from taking the next step. Mentoring can help remove those obstacles so that our students can achieve both their personal and professional goals.”
Investing in workforce development through mentoring has additional benefits as well. Through mentoring, supervisors enhance leadership skills while creating positive relationships with junior employees and interns leading to increased productivity. With positive relationships between supervisors and the young people they mentor comes a positive return on investment, seeing more employees staying longer at a company. A survey by Deloitte found that “those intending to stay with their organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68 percent) than not (32 percent).”
By coming together to support the career development of our city’s youth, we ensure they flourish and continue growing the community we all love so much. Business owners, this is your chance deepen your impact and look to the future. It can be through structured mentoring in the workplace or infusing a mentoring mindset into workplace relationships like MENTOR NY’s work with Catholic Charities. Investing in mentoring is investing in your community!
Contact Joie Golomb, the Director of Program and Partnerships for more about how your company can support your community with mentoring: firstname.lastname@example.org