Since 1996, the Workforce Development Center has successfully linked businesses to the public workforce system. Our staff works to increase business access to qualified workers, and ensure income eligible residents are prepared for the workplace environment, its responsibilities, and retention.
Internships are made possible thanks to Chamber members like Arlington Auto. These businesses provide the space and support for our future leaders to learn the skills necessary to succeed within a competitive job market. Their commitment to our youth and community is what makes our program unique and for that we are grateful.
The Career Action Center (CAC) is a program through the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation Inc.. The CAC started in 2014 in collaboration with Poughkeepsie City School District to provide Poughkeepsie High School students with the necessary skills to identify and pursue their career interests and/or obtain employment. The CAC is housed at Poughkeepsie High School and staffed by two Chamber mentors. The mentors run a career service center providing resources to all PHS students. In the 2017-2018 academic year the Center received over 1,500 visits from students in 9th-12th grades to receive assistance on college planning, job searches, interviewing skills, school work assistance, and mentoring.
In addition to the Center, there is a Career Action Center Mentoring Program open to 50 juniors and seniors. The two chamber mentors work with a Poughkeepsie City School District Business Teacher to facilitate a Career Explorations class. The program focuses on developing employability skills and career readiness. These students are mentored throughout the school year and work on academic, personal, and career goals. Members of the business community visiting the classroom and speaking to students expose students to various careers. Throughout the year, including the summer, students are invited to participate in numerous activities in the community including volunteer/community service opportunities, field trips, and job shadow days. Students also have the opportunity to complete an internship based on their career interest, with a local business. In the beginning of the 2017-2018 Academic year about 15% of students were employed. By the end of the school year over 60% of the students in the program were gainfully employed. 80% of the students started and successfully completed their internship with a business in the community.