Energizing Opportunities is an innovative summer “learn and earn” employment program providing teens with paid six-week internships in a hands-on training program that provides foundational skills needed for entry to more advanced Overhead Electrical Line Worker training at City Colleges of Chicago. With guidance from an expert instructor and a near-peer mentor, youth are engaged in project-based learning experiences to develop key skills to succeed in the energy sector. This includes a focus on physical fitness, safety mindsets, communication, and working knowledge of the electrical grid as a social justice issue.
What makes the program unique is that it utilizes a blended learning approach (i.e. in-person and online). The program utilizes micro-credentials known as digital badges to connect career exploration and workforce development learning experiences provided both in-school and out-of-school. These credentials provide evidence of knowledge acquisition and achievements. They can be utilized to link learning experiences to another within or across organizations or institutions. Clicking on a badge opens it to reveal the related activities, the criteria the learner met to earn the badge, and the skills and competencies the learner demonstrated to earn the badge.
Youth can leverage this data in order to share it with employers, colleges and universities, and other programs. They can also share their digital badges on LinkedIn, resumes, and other platforms. Companies around the world like IBM and others have started utilizing digital badges with their employees. CLX is excited to provide this opportunity to today’s learners who will be tomorrow’s employees.