Business Etiquette Week highlights need for high school students to learn professional skills.

Math, science, history and language are all essential classes in high school, but it’s just as important that teens learn basic workplace skills to help them land and keep a job. Learn4Life, a network of public high schools which offers personalized learning and one-on-one instruction, does just that. 

While earning their diplomas, all Learn4Life students complete a 10-week professional skills course that has them exploring career goals and learning basic computing, resume preparation and interview etiquette.

“You would think it is obvious to arrive on time or not wear flip flops to a job interview, but some need to learn that etiquette,” said Joseph Scibana, director of career and experiential learning programs. “We make sure students are prepared for an interview and many of our schools maintain clothing closets with appropriate attire they can borrow.”

Learn4Life saw such a need for job and life skills training in their 80+ schools that they created a curriculum to help students get and keep jobs they pursue. 

“Many of our students lacked organizational skills, struggled with grammar, had no idea how to fill out a job application, handle a job interview or understand the basics of appropriate work behavior,” Scibana added. “We have several more elective courses so teens can acquire the skills to succeed in whatever job they want to pursue. With employers actively seeking qualified applicants this summer, our students have a definite advantage.”

He said the various skills classes teach students about workplace communication, career readiness, employability skills, leadership and financial literacy, exploring topics such as:

•  Why attire and professional 

    appearance matters

•  What is ethical communication?

•  Communications in the workplace

•  Are my academic skills relevant to 

    the workplace?

•  How can a work environment promote 

    or hinder success?

•  What professional skills are relevant 

    across industries?

•  What to know about income, debt, 

    wealth accumulation, financial institutions 

    and investment

One student, Roxeanna, was shy and had limited social skills which held her back. She was encouraged by her teachers and counselor to take the professional skills classes and pursue a career technical education (CTE) pathway in early child development. They helped her land a job as a teacher assistant, and with Learn4Life’s flexible schedule, she can work full time and come to school in the early evening. She is taking dual-enrollment classes at a local community college, which she knows will save her money after graduation when she enrolls in college. 

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