Job Retention Skills for At-Risk Youth

Period of Performance: 04/01/2007 - 03/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this project is to complete the development of a comprehensive interactive multimedia training program on job retention skills for the at-risk teen. Job training programs concentrate primarily on helping teens identify career interests or search for job opportunities and not on teaching the social skills needed to keep a job. In Phase I, instruction focused on conflict management in relation to general workplace expectations and time management. Findings of the feasibility study showed convincing support for the effectiveness of the curriculum with a group of Job Corp trainees. In Phase II we will expand the program to include 13 new units of group instruction that develop social skills in five critical areas of workplace experiences: time management, forming supportive social networks, becoming a key player in a company, dealing with personal beliefs and values, and identifying and reporting inappropriate behavior. Our approach, based on cognitive-behavioral theory, integrates interactive story animations delivered on DVD, individualized interactive student exercises on CD-ROM, and class activities. Instruction is designed to inform, engage and motivate teens, model appropriate behaviors, and provide opportunities to role-play and practice skills. We will evaluate the program with a group of 96 Job Corps trainees using measures of job-related social skill knowledge and usability.