Spokane Area Workforce Development Council

21st Century Career Skills – Next Steps for Young Adults

Spokane’s Next Generation Zone is designed to prepare young adults to fill in-demand positions through workforce education and training. In an effort to prevent future skill shortages, the Next Generation Zone team has recently redesigned their teaching model to include intensive industry exploration through a course they are calling the 21st Century Career Skills Class. This two-week offering is available to all young adults at no-cost, as a way to grow the talent pipeline in Spokane County, help fulfill demand for skilled workers, increase worker mobility and wage competition, and inspire our future workforce to reach their maximum potential.Young adults completing the 21st Century Career Skills Class are quickly realizing the benefits of the course.

Deb Snortland, career specialist with the Next Generation Zone, pictured above with Sebastian Burnham, says when she met Burnham for the first time, he and his friend came in to the Next Generation Zone both wanting jobs “right away.” She advised them to attend the two-week class to learn about local industries and education pathways, résumé writing, mastering the application, interviewing, budgeting, and networking. After completing the 21st Century Career Skills Class, Burnham says he is now motivated to have a career; not just a job. In partnership with the SAWDC, the Next Generation Zone team was able to leverage a variety of grants and scholarships to assist Burnham with his career plan, which included welding training through Anvil Welding. Now holding a 3G Welding Certification, Burnham is currently working as a fitter/welder trainee for Brooklyn Iron Works.