Downingtown STEM Academy Students Learn How to Be Successful Employees

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Workshops Will Help Deliver Work-ready Interns for Philadelphia Area Employers

MidAtlantic Employers’ Association announced a new initiative with Downingtown STEM Academy to help prepare students as future employees with the “real life” skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

“Employers are urging high schools and colleges to prepare students – their future employees – not only with technical skills but also with soft skills to jump right in and be successful,” said Kevin Robins, Chief Executive Officer of MidAtlantic Employers’ Association. “We are excited to be part of such an important effort to help get students ready for real-world job experiences.”

Beginning October 23 and running through January 2014, MidAtlantic Employers’ Association will facilitate training workshops for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors attending Downingtown STEM Academy. MEA business trainers will lead non-technical skills workshops focusing on communication, time management, and overcoming obstacles, among others.

“The goal is to progressively teach specific, practical skills at each grade level,” said Susan Boardman, STEM Academy Internships and Partnerships Leader. “By senior year, students will be prepared to participate in a career exploration in local companies.”

MEA’s business-experienced facilitators will engage and interact with students to make the workshops student-centered, applying effective training techniques to make the knowledge stick.

The MEA Training Workshops for Students of Downingtown STEM Academy include:

Time Management for Freshmen: How to Juggle It All
This workshop teaches time management skills to help freshmen juggle myriad responsibilities, such as classes, homework, extracurricular activities, family, and after-school jobs.

Success Strategies for Sophomores: Overcome the Obstacles!
This workshop covers how to bounce back from failure. Sophomores will learn that obstacles are inevitable, but there are ways to cope successfully.

Professional Tools for Juniors: Putting Your Best Foot Forward
This workshop will prepare juniors to enter the business world with practical advice on networking, selling yourself in an interview, and understanding the workplace.

Opened in 2011, Downingtown STEM Academy offers specialized curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In addition, the Academy requires students to participate in career explorations with area businesses. Y Prime, a technology and software solutions company based in Malvern, Pa, was one of several MEA member companies that participated in Downingtown STEM Academy’s career exploration program this past summer.

“We were very pleased to be a part of the STEM internship programs this summer,” said Shawn Blackburn, CEO of Y Prime. “I believe it was exciting for our team to work with and mentor such bright students with the potential to be great business leaders in the years to come. We all look forward to a continued relationship with STEM and hope we can provide an innovative and stimulating environment for these students to gain hands on experiences that will help them in their future.”

“MEA applauds Downingtown STEM Academy for listening to employers and implementing these workshops to help prepare students to be successful employees,” said Robins.

About MidAtlantic Employers’ Association
MidAtlantic Employers’ Association is the region’s only non-profit association dedicated to helping successful, growing organizations manage their workforce needs, stay current and compliant, and attract, retain and motivate their talent. MEA is the region’s leading provider of public and onsite supervisory and leadership training and development. For information: http://www.meainfo.org.

About Downingtown STEM Academy
With a current enrollment of 800 students, 200 in each of grades 9,10, 11 and 12, the STEM Academy opened its doors in 2011. A district magnet school, the Academy is designed to attract academically diverse students with significant interest in STEM fields. A one-to-one laptop initiative school, the Academy offers an academically challenging program of study that exposes students to a variety of science and technology courses and employs the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. In addition to various learning opportunities in the classroom, the Academy also facilitates STEM related career exploration for all students through its community partnerships.

The Board of School Directors provides oversight of the Academy. An advisory board comprised of area business and industry professionals helps steer Academy initiatives and programs, including internships and other field experiences.

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Vince Powers

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