With the help of an Arts Learning grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, in 2015 CLIMB Theatre partnered with 20 workforce service agencies across the state of Minnesota to teach employability skills to more than 800 at-risk youth.
Topics included workplace persona, job interview skills, communication, problem solving, teamwork, and interacting with supervisors.
“Theatre is a powerful way to teach job skills because it’s so interactive,” said Lauren Diesch, director of CLIMB’s Teaching Company and project manager for the grant. “Through role-playing and theatre activities, students can actually practice these skills in a safe space, before they hit the high-stakes environment of a real job.”
Norm Champ, Executive Director of Tree Trust, one of CLIMB’s partners for the project, agreed: “As an employment training provider, our mission is to improve the community by investing in people,” Champ said. “Much of our work requires that we educate our clients on interviewing skills, acceptable workplace behaviors, time management, and other important work readiness abilities. This program was a positive and helpful way for youth to learn and acquire skills needed to get and keep jobs.”