Today, OSI-Baltimore’s Education and Youth Development program hosted a soft skills training workshop for educators. The workshop, led by Jennifer Penn-Feliciano and Vanessa Proetto, two educators from East Baltimore’s Achievement Academy High School, provided curriculum materials to help facilitators teach high-school-aged people in Baltimore City the skills necessary to get and keep a job.
Soft skills, also called “emotional intelligence,” include those abilities that are not easily measured, like etiquette, active listening, and understanding body language. While many employers agree that soft skills are just as important as hard skills – the more directly defined abilities like typing, reading or computer literacy – in getting hired, they are rarely taught in school.
Attendees included educators from Patterson High School, Frederick Douglass High School, Baltimore Urban Debate League (BUDL) and Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM). The program consists of six 90-minute modules that cover topics such as: timeliness, workplace decorum, and job interview skill building.
The project, supported through OSI’s High Value High School program, is a collaboration between OSI, the Center for Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore City Public Schools, and YouthWorks Baltimore, a summer jobs program for City youth. Training from this week’s workshop will be used at six YouthWorks sites serving over 100 students to prepare them for employment this summer. Many of the facilitators also intend to use the curriculum during the school year.