Boy Scouts program aims to help young people, businesses

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published March 19, 2019

Photo by Amy Kerkemeyer/Shutterstock.com

DETROIT — The Boy Scouts of America is putting out a call for local businesses to help prepare young people for the workforce.

The Scouts will host its Impact Breakfast event to encourage businesses and other local organizations to join its Explorer program, which places teens in work posts to educate them about different careers. 

“People often … don’t know about the Explorer program and how it helps young people’s development and exposing them to new options,” said Anthony Jackson, the chair of the Exploring Committee with the Scouts’ Michigan Crossroads Council. “It also helps build character, teaches them how to work on a schedule or show up on time, and builds up their abilities to be an upstanding and moral citizen, all while learning how to do a trade.”

Youths will either join a club at their school to learn about a career or trade, or will go to a participating business to learn firsthand what working in that career is like.

“It is a co-ed program that focuses on creating posts at businesses for youth ages 14-20, and clubs at schools ages 12-14,” said Exploring Executive Brandon Brice. “This gives them exposure to areas such as aviation, health and business.”

Scouts officials said more than 3,500 youths living in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties will participate in Explorer programs.

The Impact Breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch, 1600 E. Warren Ave. Presentations will take place during the meal to demonstrate how taking part in the Explorer program is good for kids, and good for the participating businesses.

“I think what the breakfast will do is explain the value and impact we are trying to do. It’s to explain why this mission is so important,” said Jackson. “We are creating a pipeline for youth with early career exposure. This saves (businesses) the time from finding the youth and helps form a prepared and willing workforce for their industry. It sets them on the path and gives them the resources to expand into that industry.”

“We’re specifically looking for people ... for starting young career programs for youth,” added Brice. “We are hoping people will want to expand their opportunities to utilize their company or group to form an Explorer Post for young people.”

Several speakers will take part in the event and discuss the state of employment in the metro Detroit area and how the Explorer program could help.

“We have an opportunity to have a panel breakfast where we will have conversation about the future of Detroit’s workforces,” said Brice. “Sandy Baruah, the president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber; Rory Gamble, the vice president of the United Auto Workers; Portia Roberson, the president and CEO of Focus: HOPE; and Nikolai Vitti, the Superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, are there to have a one-hour conversation about how to prepare the future workforce, what the challenges are and what we can do to meet those challenges.”

Those interested but unable to attend can contact the Boy Scouts of America at www.scouting.org, and the organization will respond with information on how to get involved. Partnerships with local schools also can be arranged.

“It helps fill the gap of skilled worker and the need for skilled workers. These jobs will provide decent money for young people and build up communities,” Jackson said. “It’s a segment of Boy Scouts that deserves more press and notoriety. There is definitely a need for this, and there are so many positives that can result from it.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.