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Skyview High School incorporates program to encourage workforce development

Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:11-04


BILLINGS – The Yellowstone Strengths Academy is a new program being brought to Skyview High School.

“It’s been a really neat opportunity just because it’s the community and the school, and we’re meshing together to do the partnership,”  said Skyview High School Counseling Department Head  Tina Boone.

The goal of the program is to help students prepare to enter the job market following high school.

“They’re investing in basic skills that they can take anywhere, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve already got your path chosen, or your career or not, you can’t have enough communication skills, just things you would take to the workforce at any job,” Yellowstone Strengths Academy’s Jessica Gaard said.

The Academy aims to foster networking relationships.

“There are nine classes including job shadowing and mentorship, and a graduation at the end,” Gaard said. “Continual interactive experience between the students and the organizations that are supporting this so hopefully we get some of the students interested in some of the businesses we have in Billings.”

The courses are free, and last about an hour. Courses will be held at Skyview.

The program’s intention is to help students find better jobs, determine their strengths, and empower them as they enter the “real world.”

“It’s very scary, and we know that statistically that most of our students kind of have a plan after high school, and then plans change,” Boone said. “So the more that we can get them experiences and experiencing jobs on site as opposed to what goes on in their mind, and having those experiences and having conversations with real people, and then just doing more interest inventories and having conversations on all the different options out there.”

The instructors will be local industry partners, ranging anywhere from customer service positions to realty.

The Yellowstone Strength Academy’s Partners: Kynexions, The Billings Public Library, The Chamber of Commerce, Century 21 Hometown Brokers, Stockman Bank, First Interstate Bank, Townsquare Media, The Northern Hotel, The Best Western Clock Tower Inn, Altana Federal Credit Union, Explorer’s Academy, Wood’s Powr-Grip, Advanced Care Hospital, and Billings Works/Big Sky Economic Development.

The training courses kick off Feb. 19.