Jabal Allen

Dream big. Get ready for your future.

Many times, looking for work poses challenges. If you have a limited work history, or can’t get to a job because you lack transportation or child care, or if you don’t have the basic skills needed, you may find it difficult to get ahead.

What you may not realize is that this is a growing problem for thousands of people in our region. The underemployment rate for recent high school graduates is 25 percent, higher than a decade ago, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That means that you may be having difficulty finding full-time work — or are working in jobs where your skills are underutilized.


So it’s good news that a program in the Hudson Valley is working to help more young people like you gain critical skills needed to enter the workforce and create upwardly mobile career paths. It’s called The Jobs Waiting TechHire program. It not only can meet your needs, it also meets the needs of employers in the region by providing a pipeline of talent.

Jobs Waiting includes career readiness training, one-on-one career counseling, business communication development, social media for networking training, and the opportunity to pursue specialized training in growth industries. Career coaches and job development specialists work with you to find training and jobs for up to a year after the program’s initial “boot camps” have ended.

The results? After graduating from our program, you’ll have more confidence, you’ll be more motivated to work, and you’ll have a more positive outlook about yourself and your future.

But don’t take it from us. Hear about the impact of our program from graduates in this ongoing series, which presents their stories.


Jabal Allen: ‘I’m Motivated to Grow’

How does one go from being an unemployed electrician to pursuing a career in audio engineering or the energy industry? It didn’t come naturally, but for Jabal Allen, 18, having to “Stand and State” every day for five weeks was the beginning of broadening his vision for his future.

“I’ve always thought of myself as more of an introvert,” says Allen, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School. “It was never easy for me to break out of my shell. But having to get up and speak in front of a room full of people every day for five weeks helped me to see I was capable of more.”

“Stand and State” was a feature of the five-week career readiness boot camp from which Allen recently graduated. The daily ritual of having to practice public speaking helped participants — many of whom had never presented publicly before — learn how to speak clearly and confidently about themselves, according to Allen.

“Before the boot camp, I was having a hard time finding a job, because I think I lacked some important communication skills. I learned how to better present myself, and developed deeper connections with my peers. I’m more motivated to better myself, to grow. “

With the support of his Jobs Waiting instructor, and the program’s career coaches and job development specialists, Allen learned how to package his skills to be more “marketable,” which he says will help him get ahead, faster.

Allen plans to achieve the highest level of certification for the electrician craft, and is also exploring careers in the energy industry. Another possible career option? Combining his love of music (he’s in a rock band called “742”) and career, to work in audio engineering.

“For me, it’s about having a path where I didn’t see one before,” he said.



Do You Qualify to Join Jobs Waiting?

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