Youth-Business Mentoring Program (YBMP)
Job training and placement for 14-17 year olds
Helping teens enter the job market
Common Wealth Development has been supporting area teens with training and enriching first job experiences since 1991. With the current economic climate, the unemployment rate for the nation’s teens is approximately triple that of adults. Our Youth-Business Mentoring Program helps level the playing field.
Job placement follows 2-week training
Our Youth-Business Mentoring Program provides youth an intensive two-week pre-employment training, followed by a job placement with a supportive business. We begin by teaching teens how to effectively find, apply for, and interview for jobs.
To apply, a youth must submit a youth application and have their parent or guardian submit the permission form. The links to the forms can be found on our website:
Once applications are submitted, a staff member will follow up with the applicant to discuss next steps. While we do accept applications on a rolling basis, there are specific deadlines applications must be turned in by to attend a specific training session.
YBMP 2023 Dates
October 2nd to October 13th at Vel Phillips Memorial
October 23rd to November 3rd at La Follete
October 30th to November 10th at West
December 4th to December 15th at East
Common Wealth has served over
youth since 1991 through our award-winning youth programs
Wrap-around mentoring support
Upon successful completion of our training, the real fun begins! After the teen is placed in a real world job, they will receive mentorship from their workplace supervisor and CWD staff that focuses on how to keep and excel in their job. This double mentoring ensures that youth have the support they need to make the most of their employment opportunity and overcome problems that may arise in a first job.
Financial Literacy Workshops
In addition to our Youth-Business Mentoring Program, we hold Employment and Financial Literacy Workshops at schools and other community agencies. These workshops can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of a unique group and adapted to a timeline that supports youth’s schedules. Recent workshops have included topics such as resume development, financial literacy education, and post-secondary pathway planning. Each workshop varies based on scheduling needs but often includes hour-long sessions across three to eight weeks.
Workshops can include:
Employment Skills Training: learning how to Tackle Job Searches and Applications
The pre-employment portion of our workshops takes the mystery out of job hunting and reveals secrets of impressive job applications. We perform mock interviews that help students learn how to answer typical interview questions. This opportunity for preparation focuses on strengthening students’ skills and giving them the confidence to apply and interview successfully for their first job.
Financial Literacy training: cultivating Wisdom with Money
The financial literacy component of our workshops can help youth understand how to maximize their paycheck once they start earning. We teach them the basics of saving and budgeting, help them understand financial institutions, and discuss some big mistakes to avoid.
Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program
Since 2014, Common Wealth has annually partnered with the City of Madison to provide 25 – 50 Madison youth the opportunity to work a paid summer internship program with on-the-job placements. The program’s namesake, Wanda Fullmore, grew up in Madison, graduated from Vel Phillips Memorial High School, and spent her career as an employee in the Mayor’s Office. Her passion for supporting the community and building lasting relationships has inspired how this program continues to incorporate Madison youths’ voices in the long-term planning and visioning of the City.
Initiated by Mayor Paul Soglin, this program’s initial aim was to expose Madison Youth – particularly BIPOC youth – to employment opportunities with the City of Madison, with the hopes that some would eventually return as permanent staff. Since then, the program has evolved into a premier experiential learning opportunity, providing youth exclusive access to real-time projects and activities City departments are actively working on, while also providing paid structured internship opportunities, replete with a rigorous professional development curriculum.
More than an Internship
The Wanda Fullmore Internship Program offers an opportunity for City of Madison Youth to spend 8-weeks in a paid summer internship that provides the opportunity to learn more about employment with the City of Madison. However, interns do more than work for 8 weeks. They receive mentorship from Common Wealth Development staff, complete professional development trainings, and lend their perspectives and vision to a real-world City development project, as their capstone accomplishment. This program is a unique opportunity for Madison youth to form valuable connections, gain exposure to different career paths, boost their resume, and represent the voice of Madison youth.
In 2023, youth will work an average of 16 hours per week. That time will be divided amongst professional development training, in-person work at their job placement, and additional community development and engagement projects. Youth will also come together to build their peer-to-peer connections and step into leadership roles. Once accepted into the program, youth will receive a Chromebook to use during the program and keep upon program end, as well as a bus pass to assist with getting to and from internship activities. Interns are also automatically enrolled to earn elective school credits through MMSD’s Experiential Learning program for their work throughout the summer.
All accepted youth work in-person placements, some based in City of Madison departments or divisions, and others directly with Common Wealth Development. Some recent examples of departments or divisions that have hosted Wanda Fullmore interns in the past have included: Parks Division, Engineering Division, City Attorney’s Office, Madison Public Library Central branch, Information Technology Department, Madison Police Department Community Outreach and Resource Education (CORE) Unit, Warner Park Recreation Center, Public Health, and Finance and Purchasing Department.
WANDA FULLMORE 2024 APPLICATIONS TBD
Common Wealth staff recently wrapped up the 10th year of the Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program (WFYIP). To be eligible for the Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program in 2024, youth must have a City of Madison address OR be enrolled in an MMSD school, and be, at minimum, 14 years of age. If you have any questions regarding this opportunity, or would like to receive future recruitment information, please contact Ashley Hoeft, Director of Workforce Development, at email@example.com or 608-620-7862.