09/16/2013 02:58 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2013

Project: Starter Pack Program

Inspiration for Project

I have been struggling to find work for a year now -- since 2012. It is mostly because of my lack of experience in the areas of work that I apply for.

The level of performance and experience that most employers are asking from the applicants are as basic as 1-2-3, but the way the companies project the requirement's on job descriptions makes it seem as if it's rocket science. This can leave applicants discouraged, because they have no prior experience in the fields they apply for.

In reality, they can be more than capable of completing the task if given the opportunity. Through my personal experience in the job-seeking field, I've been to interviews where employers ask me about my experience in the position I apply for.
Though I have the knowledge of what is expected, I have no document or printed evidence that says I can perform the task, and that causes my chances of getting the job to become slim-to-none.

Issue Being Addressed in Project

Employers need employees that they can trust to perform the task of the job in a consistent and accurate manner. Employees need a job where they are comfortable and more than qualified. My program is made just for these issues. I want job-seeking to be less stressful and more reciprocal.

Explanation of Project

I came up with the starter pack program idea, which I feel would be more than effective in helping unemployed applicants who already have the education and credentials, but lack the actual experience for the position. This program seeks out individuals who are unemployed, finds which jobs they are interested in, and teams them up with employers who need employees for those positions.

The applicant will then be set up with a trainee, provided from the employers' companies. At that point, the applicant will go through a week of training with the trainee, in which we use a grading process to determine if the applicant is capable of performing the task of the job.
If so, then they would be rewarded with a certificate that states "we consider this person capable of the task," for whichever position they are applying for. The beauty of this program is that it is great for everyone involved.

Job seekers will get the opportunity to prove that they can do a task where they may not necessarily have experience, and employers are guaranteed to have well-trained new employees on their start date.

Impact of Project

My program is to be set-up to lower discouragement and instill some confidence in applicants as they apply for jobs. I always ask, "how can I build my experience without a chance to get hands on training for the position?" This is usually a concern for many young adults entering the workforce for the first time, or, for example, people changing careers.
The implementation of this program will result in more employed Black and Latino citizens, and more efficiently run businesses. It is a great program to strengthen my community, and every community that struggles to succeed. Once the model is tested and proven, it will be easy to recruit other businesses and corporations that are interested in investing in communities and improving the quality of life.

This blog post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post, Ashoka Changemakers, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Young Men's Initiative in recognition of the "My Voice, Our City" competition, which aims to empower black and Latino young men ages 16-24. To see all the other posts in the series, click here. For more information about "My Voice, Our City", click here; about Ashoka Changemakers, click here; and about the Young Men's Initiative, click here.