In 2014, Lifeway committed to recruit three Opportunity Youth for three- to six-month, full-time internship roles in its Chicago office. A cross-departmental team within the organization will perform a staffing needs analysis and create entry-level job positions that can be filled by Opportunity Youth.
Lifeway will partner with local Chicagoland nonprofit organizations that specialize in servicing Opportunity Youth to help identify and place young people for the internship program over the next three years. Participants in the program will be matched with approximately 5 mentors at Lifeway and build administrative skills in a marketing, accounting, production, or sales environment. Training will vary by department needs and will be led by the participant's mentor at Lifeway. During the internship, the participant will have monthly evaluations with the mentor to discuss progress and future direction of the internship. Interns who successfully complete the internship will have the opportunity to interview for available full-time positions at Lifeway. Participants will have an increased level of structured feedback to bolster their ability to succeed in the program.
Lifeway's nonprofit partners will offer a pipeline of talent for the internship program and create awareness of the program to increase community engagement and support for the population, including sharing best practices and raising awareness with other businesses. Partners may also act as a liaison between the community and this specific internship program. Lifeway is launching a brand-new program through this commitment; and, significantly, is moving into a new space through outreach to opportunity youth and creation of new avenues of involvements in the company's operation.
6/26/2014 - Perform a needs analysis in each department to determine their participation level.
07/05/2014 - Develop a formalized Internship Program.
07/10/2014 - Contact Local NPO for Potential Interns.
07/15/2014 - Source, Select and Screen Intern Candidates.
07/30/2014 - Have selected candidates sign internship agreement with set goals to be achieved.
08/06/2014 - Mentor and Intern should meet frequently to discuss progress and adjust as needed to ensure that the internship program is a success for the organization and the intern.
Monthly - Mentor will conduct a monthly evaluation on the intern based on feedback from the intern, other staff members, and feedback from the immediate supervisor.
Yearly - Conduct a yearly self -audit of the program to determine if it is has reached the attended objectives with the targeted group.
More than four years have passed since the end of the Great Recession, and yet nearly six million young Americans are out of school and out of work, a staggering number that contributes to economic challenges, strains many local communities, and limits long-term economic growth. At the same time, large and small businesses are struggling to fill four million job vacancies that are critical to both individual company success and overall economic growth.
Many of the leading businesses in America and around the globe are committed to addressing this economic gap for America's Opportunity Youth, 16-to-24 year olds who are out of work and out of school. Lifeway Foods Inc. (Lifeway) seeks to address the issue of limited job opportunities for young people in underserved communities who are competing against more skilled professionals in a limited job market and are often left without opportunities to build or even embark on a stable career.
Lifeway will develop diverse entry-level talent and expand opportunities for underserved youth by creating entry-level jobs in Lifeway's senior leadership offices, allowing Lifeway to innovate and grow while empowering young prospective employees who will be able to contribute to Lifeway's success while building valuable job skills.
Lifeway seeks support from nonprofit organizations with applicant selection and screening.
Lifeway will offer media support to partner nonprofits, increasing awareness of the program and the partners' mission.