City of St. Louis YouthBuild Expands Training Options with  CSET 2.0 Career Pathways Initiative Award

Integration of customer service training into existing YouthBuild programming aims at strengthening youth participant placement and retention outcomes

October 23, 2017 | 2 min reading time

This article is 5 years old. It was published on October 23, 2017.

ST. LOUIS, October 23, 2017 – The students of the City of St. Louis Youthbuild program (STL-YB) now have even more options for career training, thanks to a $28,000 grant awarded by YouthBuild U.S.A. to implement the Customer Service Excellence Training (CSET) 2.0 Career Pathways Initiative. CSET 2.0 is a capacity-building initiative aiming to support selected YouthBuild programs through integration of CSET 2.0 into existing programming, strengthening youth participant placement and retention outcomes in first career pathways jobs.

Starting in fall 2017, CSET 2.0 will be offered to 50 STL-YB students, providing a foundational hands-on introduction to core communication and customer service competencies. CSET 2.0 includes two parts: classroom or online instruction, followed by placement in customer service internships or pre-apprenticeships through SLATE’s many area business partners.

“We are excited to incorporate YouthBuild’s CSET 2.0 into our City’s already successful YouthBuild program,” said Dr. Alice Prince, Executive Director of SLATE. “Expanding our program’s career training options beyond construction trades allows us to be even more inclusive of youth in our community who are eager to work, and in need of the services and opportunities that SLATE and St. Louis YouthBuild provide.”

In 2014, Starbucks, the Schultz Family Foundation, and YouthBuild USA launched Phase I of the Retail Excellence Training Program (CSET 1.0). This national program gave 170 YouthBuild students an opportunity to learn customer service skills - based on the same training Starbucks employees received - through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail settings.

CSET Phase II (2.0) expands the program beyond the barista model, offering both classroom-style instruction and an online training option for the first part of the program, called “CSET Fundamentals”. Over the course of 8 to 10 weeks, each student completes technical retail skills training, followed by placement in an 8 - 10 week customer service internship. Students also receive assistance with job searches, applications, interview preparation, and placement, providing a clear pathway to employment and improving youth placement outcomes.

The City of St. Louis YouthBuild program (STL-YB) provides a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment for young adults who have dropped out of high school (ages 18-24). St. Louis YouthBuild helps men and women earn a high school equivalency certificate and learn practical job skills in the construction field. In 2017, STL-YB was awarded funding to expand its training options to include Pharmacy Technicians, Cybersecurity Analysts, and Retail/Customer Service career tracks.

To learn more about CSET 2.0 or to enroll in the City of St. Louis YouthBuild program, call Shekima Hunter, Youth Division Manager of SLATE at (314) 589-8000.

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