Career Adventures Camp
Dayton Metro Library, Ohio
This program was selected as a special Audience Choice Honorable Mention by attendees of the 2019 ULC Innovations Celebration, held on October 17 at the Salt Lake County Viridian Event Center.
The middle school grades are a critical period of development as students begin to discern their future career path. With Career Adventures Camp (CAC), Dayton Metro Library leverages its resources and partnerships to coordinate a free, immersive week-long camp for diverse students to explore in-demand career fields.
Leaders from Dayton’s regional career asset mapping project recognized the importance of middle school as a prime time for career awareness and exploration. The shifting focus to a younger audience for workforce development is having a real-world impact including new statewide curriculum standards for workforce development at the middle school level. At the request of community partners, DML stepped in as the lead organizer of CAC to help fill the gap for quality career exploration for seventh and eighth graders.
Key Elements of Innovation
Career Adventures Camp is a free, week-long day camp that provides hands-on experiences for teens, as well as wraparound programs to introduce softskills and resources. Participants build self-awareness, learn about potential careers and develop a plan for reaching their goals. Each day includes field trips to job sites in high-demand fields, as well as group presentations/discussions, journaling/reflection and access to DML’s online workforce resources. Careers in the library are highlighted as well.
This program provides a deep and direct benefit to 30 middle school students who are driven to succeed, but lack resources. Additionally, CAC showcases DML’s key role in providing access to knowledge through our digital services, resources and expertise (including Career Cruising, Lynda.com and additional career-focused databases). Finally, CAC helps position DML as a community anchor institution and leader in workforce development, fostering strong partnerships with mission-aligned regional agencies.