New Program to Help You Get a Job

New Program to Help You Get a Job

Photo: Students at the University of Central Oklahoma who will soon be entering the workforce have the option of attending the Workforce Advantage Program, starting on Nov. 10 on campus. Photo provided by

Students at the University of Central Oklahoma who soon will be looking for jobs can get help through a new program on campus starting Nov. 10.

The Workforce Advantage Program from UCO’s Customized Education is designed to help students build stronger ‘soft skills.’

The new program will allow employees learn about business etiquette, reputation management and professional communication, said Karen Youngblood, executive director for Customized Education.

The Workforce Advantage Program will address information on generational differences, dressing professionally, entitlements, punctuality and honoring hierarchy. The program will also discuss texting and social media in the workplace.

UCO’s Customized Education partnered with the State Chamber of Oklahoma to provide innovative instructions to keep learners engaged with real-world scenarios.

Youngblood said the idea for the program started a year ago when she attended Gov. Mary Fallin‘s Oklahoma Work Summit.

At the summit Youngblood heard from organizations, associations, non-profits and businesses that there was a need to improve soft skills to get employees boardroom-ready.

“All of [the employers] were saying the same thing. They were saying our young employees coming out of college don’t have soft skills. They have good talent; they have good technical skills; but they don’t have the soft skills,” Youngblood said.

According to Youngblood, soft skills are basic skills needed in the workplace including how to properly handshake, look somebody in the eye, use silverware, write a professional email, along with other traits.

The program is opened to anyone but is designed for new or advancing professionals, typically someone that is new to a company or has received a new position.

“We are not going to teach rocket science, but we are going to teach the business perspective and expectations that people don’t tell when you go in … We are trying to bridge that gap so that employees are even more valuable to employers,” Youngblood said.

The new program is intended to help employees convey a positive image and serve in the upper-level management of the organization. Professionalism, customer service and collaboration will also be studied throughout the program.

There’s no age requirement for the Workforce Advantage Program. Students that finished high school, received a bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree are all welcomed to take these valuable classes.

The program is designed to be a 90-day session, with three Thursdays and three Fridays over a period of three months. Classes will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. Classes will cost $1299, and discounts may be applied.

Research shows that employees that want to stand out will need to polish soft skills and be able to leave a strong impression. After three months of classes, students will receive a professional certificate as a way to stand out from the crowd, said Youngblood.

The Workforce Advantage Program has a lifetime guarantee, where employees are able to retake classes again without any cost. Companies also may offer to pay for the training, as research has proven the long-term profits.

“Our goal is really to make sure the employee has that additional edge, that additional standout, that additional boardroom-ready functionality so they stand out among other peers,” Youngblood said.


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