Howard County Office of Workforce Development
Social Capital Summer 2021
Providing Younger Youth with Social Capital Training to Promote Future Workforce Success
In the summer of 2021, Social Capital Builders worked, in partnership with Howard Country Office of Workforce Development, with 50 youth ages 14-16 on social capital development. All quantitative data presented below is based on self-reported surveys completed by the youth in the program, whom we refer to as Opportunity Seekers (OS).
❖ At the midpoint of the program, 12% of OS rated themselves as a 6 out of 6 on the Success Scale. A 6 on the scale represents a strong commitment to building social capital. By the end of the program, 39% of OS rated themselves as a 6 on the Success Scale. That is a 27% increase in the 2nd half of the program in these young people’s commitment to building social capital.
❖ 84% of OS reported an increase in their level of knowledge of how to build your social capital during the program.
❖ 76% of OS reported an increase in their effort to build connections and their knowledge of what it takes to have Future Economic Opportunities (FEOs) as a result of this summer program.
❖ 80% of OS reported an increase in their level of expertise on searching for a job and choosing a job that is a good fit for them.
❖ 67% of OS reported an increase in their level of knowledge for understanding the requirements for a job and getting the necessary education and skills to meet those requirements as well as an increase in their knowledge of paychecks and taxes.
❖ 72% of OS reported an increase in their ability to write a strong resume and cover letter, and in their understanding of references and recommendation letters.
❖ 78% of OS reported an increase in their expertise on building social capital and FEOs WHILE AT WORK.
❖ 55% of OS reported an increase in their knowledge on how to use social media in a professional way to build your FEOs. This is an area where the program should grow as social media is a major part of many young people’s lives.
❖ 61% of OS reported an increase in their expertise on working in a diverse workplace.
❖ 78% of program participants were likely or very likely to recommend this program to their peers.
❖ One OS shared, “I really enjoyed this summer job program, and learned a lot such as what job readiness looks like, how to write a better resume, and how to further build my social capital. ... and it made me more confident in finding a job, because I have connections that will vouch for me in getting a job that I find interest in. I had a really positive experience here, and enjoyed working with my co-workers virtually.”
In 2022, our Director of Instruction, Kim Dohner, interviewed Jermira Sarratt, the Howard County Office of Workforce Development Youth Program Coordinator to discuss the outcomes of our social capital program. Here are the main insights from that interview:
❖ Sarratt shared that she loves working with Social Capital Builders because it gets young people excited about the process of making connections.
❖ “I honestly would recommend the program to anyone.”
❖ The most significant outcome of the program was that youth were able to take what they learned and apply it the next year when they began looking for a job for the first time at age 16-17. Sarratt expressed appreciation that our program provides “actual life skills”.
❖ Another notable positive outcome of this program is the opportunity to make a strong-tie connection with Edward DeJesus, the founder and CEO of Social Capital Builders, as he is a well-connected employer in the local community. DeJesus leads the Howard County program, so youth interact with him directly. Sarratt explains, “I can teach youth how to write a resume, but to hear it from an employer, which Ed is an employer, so it's different than hearing it from me and hearing about social capital from him.”