About TeamBuilders Academy TeamBuilders Academy (TBA) is a Prince George’s Community College Workforce Development Program, offering cohort-based accelerated adult career training. TBA’s mission is to provide job readiness-related soft skills training combined with occupational trade-related technical skills training. After instruction is provided to eligible Prince George’s County residents they are matched with local employers. The creation of this program was inspired by former Councilmember Tony Knotts who recognized a need for specialized training programs in his community. The program started in April 2009 with construction being the primary area of interest. Since then, the TeamBuilders Academy has added “tracks” of occupational training within a variety of industry clusters that align with the Prince George’s Community College Workforce Development Institutes such as, computers and information technology, health and human services, hospitality and tourism, transportation and distribution, and public safety and security. For more information about TeamBuilders, click http://youtu.be/DZqFihjW_uU Program Overview TBA participants will have the opportunity to enhance their employability while gaining vocational skills in a shared-learning model. TeamBuilders Academy staff and industry professionals will provide employability training as well as technical training specific to the occupational track selected by each participant. This unique program training model was designed to be nationally benchmarked and supports achievement of professional credentials and industry-specific certifications. Additionally, each occupational training track is directly aligned with local employment opportunities. Eligibility and Participation Prospective TBA participants are identified as eligible based on age (at least 18 years old), residency (Prince George’s County residents), and employment status (having encountered employment adversities). TBA offers training opportunities to veterans, the long-term and chronically unemployed, individuals with disabilities, and college developmental students who are non-completers. With assistance from program partners, referrals for training are received from local faith-based, community-based, and government organizations. After referral, prospective participants are screened for substance use and adverse backgrounds, appraised to measure cognitive ability and work-readiness levels, and then interviewed to determine interpersonal and communication skills and occupational interest. Once selected, participants are given a pre-test to identify their basic numeracy and literacy skill levels. TBA training begins with 3-4 weeks of intense instruction to improve basic employability skills. Concurrently, participants will undergo 10-12 weeks of industry-specific technical training to prepare for entry-level employment in the occupational track selected. This occupational training experience is designed to be hands-on, allowing participants the opportunity to use the tools and practice the skills necessary for success in their chosen occupation. Participants successfully completing the occupational tracks will have earned one or more occupational license, industry certification, or other industry-specific credential verifying achievement of technical skill proficiency in the selected occupation. Before training is concluded, each participant will be given a post-test to mark learning gains measured against the pre-test, and to identify their employability competency skill (ECS) levels. Those achieving the highest ECS will earn a workforce skill certification (WSC). The WCS certifies for employers that the participant has demonstrated advanced skills in multiple skill areas such as reading comprehension, critical thinking, math, problem-solving, writing, teamwork, oral communication, and customer service, and provides clear documentation of readiness for entry-level employment. Instructors and Staff TBA Instructors are selected based on their industry knowledge and expertise. They understand the value of their instruction and are encouraged to maintain quality interpersonal relationship with participants. TeamBuilders Academy staff is dedicated to participant advocacy and pursuing fundamental resources on the behalf of the participant. Alumni TeamBuilders Academy graduates on average 60 participants per year. Active participation is encouraged by all Alum. TBA offers job placement assistance and supports those who are currently seeking employment. The TBA staff actively engages with the Alum to keep completers connected to learning and mentoring opportunities at PGCC. On-the-Job-Training (OJT) Internship The TeamBuilders Academy OJT Internship is available to eligible TBA Alum. The TBA OJT Internship program is an applied learning model designed to assist participants with gaining additional occupational skills and experience. The TBA OJT projects are paid assignments which are designed to last approximately 4-6 weeks. Service Learning The TeamBuilders Academy promotes community service and rewards completers that verify the completion of 30-hours of volunteer service. Community Service is a requirement for receiving the TBA Scholarship. Student Engagement The TeamBuilders Academy engages its participants throughout their training with a variety of projects. Specifically, TBA participant's engagement projects are designed to foster collaboration, in multiple ways- amongst the students, staff, and stakeholders.