CCCTC Has Students Bring Their ‘A’ Game for Soft Skills Training

LISBON, Ohio — In her role as a pizza shop manager, Josie Glosser sees the impact of a lack of soft skills among her co-workers, from communication problems to attendance.

“Their accountability is also a big one because if they’re not doing what they need to do, then we get behind,” said Glosser, who is a senior at Columbiana County Career and Technical Center in the construction tech program. “No one wants to be stuck there an hour or so after closing.”

Glosser related the real-life experiencing to the curriculum taught in Bring Your “A” Game, a program at CCCTC that reinforces the type of soft skills that employers expect workers to have in the workplace.

While hard skills demonstrate experience and an understanding of a particular, measurable ability, soft skills “indicate your ability to work with others and grow within a company,” according to the job-search website Indeed.com.

Bring Your “A” Game focuses on the seven foundational skills of work ethic: attitude, attendance, acceptance, appearance, ambition, appreciation and accountability. The instructor-led program is interactive and consistently developed with the needs of educators and workforce development professionals in mind. Curriculum is customized to meet the needs of CCCTC students.

After a program introduction in September, students are trained on those skills from October through April, and the program wraps up in May.

Employer-driven stakeholders tell CCCTC each year how the trade school can better prepare its students to be successful workplace professionals with the aforementioned soft skills along with the technical training they already possess, says Jordan Williams, CCCTC high school principal

“When we decided on this program was to look for something that impacted those kids to not only be able to get a job, keep a job, rise up in the company and look for higher goals to continue to move up and build on their career,” Williams said.

One junior and senior who excel in the program are selected by staff members as students of the month. Other incentives are offered to promote adoption of the soft skills among students.

Williams says the program is geared toward building social and emotional learning so students do better academically, socially and behaviorally. He adds these positively impact economic mobility and mental health outcomes.

He hopes these lessons are productive when his students face these obstacles in the workplace. 

“I want them in a few years when they deal with adversity, to have something to lean on and come back and say, ‘Hey, this is the right response to this situation,’ ” Williams says.

Learning these lessons each month has prepared junior construction tech student Brandon Blakeley.

“It really makes me want to try harder and really kind of present myself to this world and the people around me,” Blakeley says. “It kind of gives [employers] a better mindset of how I am as a person, how I can protect my attitude and maybe appearance to them. There’s a positive side to me and how I can maybe benefit a company.” 

Learning to live without the drama in the workplace or the school is something Glosser hopes all of her peers take going forward.

“If you don’t come in with the attitude that you need, then it’s not going to get you where you need to be,” she says. “It’s going to end up making the people around you not want to help you or be there. That factors right in with the attendance. 

“You have to be there or you’re not going to get what you need done”

Pictured: In CCCTC’s Bring Your “A” Game program students Josie Glosser and Brandon Blakeley are trained on the soft skills that employers need in the workplace. (Image: CCCTC)

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.