Military teens take advantage of job ready workshop

By Angie ThorneMay 8, 2024

Military teens take advantage of job ready workshop
Antonio Hudge Jr. (right) begins a mock interview at the Teen Job Ready Workshop with a strong handshake. Stacey Delgado, Employment Readiness Program Manager, conducts the interview April 20. (U.S. Army photo by Shawna Macias) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL


Public Affairs intern

FORT JOHNSON, La. — The Teen Job Ready Workshop took place at Army Community Service the first three Saturdays in April. Each Saturday covered a different topic important to teaching teens the skills they need as they enter the workforce.

April is also Month of the Military Child. It’s a time to celebrate everything about military children, including what they go through and the strength they gain from the challenges they face.

Employment Readiness Program Manager, Stacey Delgado noticed the month is usually focused on much younger children. She felt there should be events and opportunities catered to teens. That’s why she initiated a free workshop to highlight key job readiness skills that taught them things like how an application is filled out, personal skills that would be an asset to employers and even how to properly conduct an interview.

Several Fort Johnson teens took advantage of the opportunity to learn these life skills and give themselves an edge in the job market.

Students entered the ACS classroom April 20, their last day of class, ready to participate in a mock interview.

Delgado began the class by explaining the difference between a resume and an application, the latter being a required legal document. As the students filled out their own applications, they asked questions ranging from what a swing shift is to who they could list as a reference.

Hunter Kirby, a 14-year-old attending the workshop with his brother, said he thought the class was important.

“I came because I want to get a job and I need a resume. My resume is important.”

Along with guidance on his resume, Kirby said the class also taught him what to say to future employers, tips on how to get a job and other knowledge he found valuable.

He rated the course a ten out of ten and hopes what he learned will help him get a job as he begins to look for work out beyond Fort Johnson’s gates.

Mike Bell, onsite coordinator for Collier Investments, a franchise of Manpower, helped conduct the mock interviews.

“Helping people get hired is my passion,” Bell said.

As students sat down with him to begin an interview, Bell asked for their application and assessed them for things like proper posture and a firm handshake.

One student was given advice about how to access jobs with accommodations for disabilities.

“You have rights as an employee and employers are not allowed to ask certain questions, but you may accidentally volunteer information if you don’t know any better,” Bell said.

Delgado performed a mock interview with Shanti Flores, who is hoping to volunteer with the red cross.

Flores said she began the workshop with basic knowledge, but the classes helped expand her understanding of how to better find a job.

“She (Delgado) guided me and taught me things I didn’t know. I’m excited to hear back from the volunteer opportunities I’ve applied for,” Flores said.

As her mock interview continued, she answered the questions with ease and Delgado said she was proud of how well she paid attention.

“Why should I hire you?” Delgado asked.

Flores answered, because she would be a great addition to the job.

“You guys are getting it,” Delgado said. “I’m so excited. You’re doing fantastic!”

At the end of the interview, Flores was informed she ‘got the job.’

Antonio Hudge Jr., another student, said the class was a great idea and he was happy he came.

“I’m going to go into interviews with confidence,” Hudge said. “The mock interview offered me some great experience.”

The students received certificates for their hard work and dedication to the workshop.

Many said the information they learned boosted their self-esteem and motivated them to look for jobs immediately.

For more informations about other ACS job readiness classes call 337-531-1941.