PAVE Job Training and New Ventures for Youth
PAVE Job Training
Proud program graduates!
PAVE (Promoting Avenues to Employment) is a career-focused training program that prepares homeless and at-risk youth for employment through job readiness training, occupational skills training, internships, and other employment and education-related opportunities. PAVE Workforce Case Managers also assist in educational pursuits to include completing high school or GED, enrolling in college, or pursuing other post-secondary training.
PAVE's offices are located on the second floor of New Avenues for Youth's facility at 314 SW 9th Avenue. Open hours are 9:30 am - 1 pm Monday through Friday, and 2pm - 5:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During open hours, anyone (age 16-24) can access our computer lab to work on job searches, resumes, and other college and career-related efforts. The PAVE computer lab provides access to the products and services offered through WorkSource Portland Metro including skill development and employment services.
The PAVE program is financed in whole or in part with funds provided through Worksystems, Inc. from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Portland Development Commission.
New Ventures for Youth
At New Avenues our mission is to work in partnership with the community to reduce and prevent youth homelessness. We provide homeless and at-risk young people with the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives. A significant component of a healthy and productive life is a pathway to employment and education, job training, and a skill set that can be leveraged in a range of professional contexts.
New Ventures for Youth, a division of New Avenues for Youth, owns and operates businesses devoted to providing real-world job skills and training to a population of youth who face multiple barriers to employment and might not otherwise be able to obtain employment. These businesses are social enterprises, which are business ventures that are created for a social purpose and seek to generate social impact while operating with the financial discipline of a traditional private sector business. Our goal is to provide high quality employment training in the most cost effective way so that youth can develop the building blocks for long-term self-sufficiency. We believe our social enterprises are a vital tool to help youth build a pathway to success and in creating lasting social impact.
Currently New Ventures consists of our two Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShops located at Yamhill and 6th Avenue in downtown Portland and at the PSU campus in the Urban Plaza, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream catering business, and a microenterprise t-shirt business. We intend to expand our offerings during the spring of 2012. By virtue of having a portfolio of businesses with a range of enterprises and employment opportunities, youth will be able to create individualized pathways based on their interests and talents.
Employees at New Ventures
New Avenues for Youth operates a continuum of basic needs programs designed to engage youth, address health and safety needs and ultimately allow youth to choose specific areas for personal growth, be it housing, mental health counseling, education or job training. As youth engage through the spectrum of basic needs they can choose to be connected, if appropriate, to our job training program PAVE (Promoting Avenues to Employment). PAVE works closely with the PartnerShops, providing participation referral, workforce case management, job readiness skills courses, subsidized work experience, computer access, and extensive resource listings, so that youth develop the knowledge and training they need to obtain living-wage employment.
Each employee must complete a three-week Job Readiness Training course before being considered as a New Ventures employee. Then each prospective candidate goes through an interview process to determine best fit. At the close of each work experience, employees work with PAVE case managers to determine next steps.
The Job Experience at New Ventures
Both Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShops are staffed entirely by PAVE participants or graduates, and serve as in-house supportive job training facilities. We are unique because we offer real-world work experience. Once hired, each employee participates in an “internship” lasting from 4 to 12 months in length and sometimes longer.
We take special care in creating a high quality training experience so that each youth can maximize his or her time on the job. We are an outcomes-based organization and to that end, we have designed a training program that measures skills and competencies. Employees rotate through specific training competencies, such as Inventory Management, Order Fulfillment, Shift Leads, and Scoopers. By measuring each employee’s skills at the outset and conclusion of their job training we build confidence and demonstrate skills competencies. Each rotation is a building block stacked according to job tenure so that youth can build a strong resume for future employment. PAVE staff and the Ben & Jerry’s team collaborate to ensure each youth’s scoop shop job training is part of a larger employment strategy and action plan, with the goal of helping youth into living-wage employment or enrollment in an educational institution.
A key pillar in the long term strategy at New Avenues for Youth is Empowerment. Through New Ventures for Youth and PAVE we provide choices for homeless and at-risk youth to overcome obstacles and better their lives. Providing the youth the opportunity to obtain new skills and build self-confidence is a solid step to empowerment. To see the impact these programs are having on homeless youth, click here for our most recent outcomes.
Our PartnerShop was recently featured on KATU-TV - click here to watch!