More than 22 students in 11th and 12th grade (shown) visited Benco Dental’s home office this week as part of a program designed to assist them on their career paths.
For 13 years — longer than they have been attending school — students at Crestwood School District in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania have been offered the YES program as an career prep option.
“This is actually our 13th year with the YES program as part of our business curriculum at Crestwood,” said Greg Myers, a teacher and the YES Coordinator at the high school.
He referred to YES (Your Employability Skills) program a 120-hour, 1-credit, yearound elective course that addresses the shortfall of basic skills that employers say are lacking in many job applicants. The YES program is directed by Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Council (NEPA MAEC).
Emphasized within the YES program:
- business tours
- guest-speaking opportunities
- mock interview events
“There are many advantages for our students — it gives them the ability to develop necessary skills to be good employees — all the requirements employers are looking for when they are hiring. They receive opportunities to network and gain valuable experience, especially by doing tours like this with employers who support the YES program,” said Myers.
Myers said Crestwood students attend a YES class every day and work on everything from portfolios, resumes, cover letters and interview skills.
At Crestwood, those who earn a YES certificate each receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend a Penn State University branch campus.
As part of the YES program, students tour regional businesses to get an inside look at how industry functions and the careers available to them when they are ready to enter the workforce.
One such business is Benco Dental.
With its home office in Pittston, Pennsylvania, the largest family-owned dental distributor in the United States offers a full array of supplies, equipment and services to dentists across the nation.
“Adding company visits to the YES curriculum allows students to see all the work options in their own backyard. And at Benco, for example, those careers can take them across the U.S.” said Danielle Dominick, a Talent Coordinator at the family-owned company
“When more students in the region gain awareness of the employment options, a greater talent pool will be in place when positions become available at Benco and in the area overall. We always suggest that students visit the career section of our company website to read job descriptions and learn what is required. Then, when they see positions they want to pursue, knowing the expectations will help them set their goals,” noted Dominick in an earlier interview about Benco’s involvement with the YES program.