Posted: April 27th, 2015

Fresh Career Tracks

Corporate partners Juice Plus+, AutoZone and nexAir launch training programs that promise to place more teens in jobs. 

MEMPHIS, March 27, 2015 – The Juice Plus+ Company, AutoZone and nexAir will cut the ribbon on the new Juice Plus+ Technical Training Center of the Boys & Girls Clubs urban greenhouse on Friday, March 27 as well as kick-off their new welding, automotive, and customer service tracks. The three additional tracks were developed based on local industries’ need for new entry-level employees. 

The American Welding Society estimates that there will be a shortage of 290,000 welders by 2020, meaning there are even greater career opportunities for the trainees enrolled in the program. According to Keith Blanchard, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, this is exactly the fit the Boys & Girls Clubs were looking for. 

 “We met with professionals in the welding industry that expressed concern for their employee pipeline and started researching the skills required,” Blanchard said. “The projected need for local welders, paired with the starting salaries of $17 an hour, convinced us that there was tremendous opportunity for students eager to learn the trade. We’re thrilled that nexAir saw fit to underwrite the program for us and advise us through the development process.” 

The training program focuses on helping young adults find and keep jobs. Students ages 16-21 are eligible for enrollment for only $10 a year. Trainees clock into their classes and receive a stipend for the hours they spend training. The Boys & Girls Clubs have successfully placed 100% of program graduates in jobs or college in the past three years. 

 Memphis employers say that keeping the job is as important as getting the job. AutoZone is stepping up to help program participants maintain their vehicles and develop customer service skills, removing obstacles to sustained employment. "Regardless of industry, customer service is crucial to growing business and earning customers' trust," says Ray Pohlman, Vice President, AutoZone. "Customer satisfaction is at the foundation of AutoZone's success, and we're thrilled to build a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis to strengthen the AutoZone Automotive Program while preparing young people for career success." 

The event will also showcase a ribbon cutting for the Juice Plus+ greenhouse. This 480 square foot greenhouse, fully furnished with Juice Plus+ Tower Gardens, will expand the current Boys & Girls Clubs; culinary program to include food production. At full capacity, the greenhouse will be able to produce 400 heads of lettuce and numerous herbs each month.


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