St. Louis Business Journal- “Maxine Clark’s Blueprint web app expands to tackle youth employment”

May 16, 2019

“A new web platform spun out of Build-A-Bear Workshop founder Maxine Clark’s Blueprint4Summer app has launched to boost youth employment in middle-skill jobs in the St. Louis region.

The new initiative, called Blueprint4Careers, was launched through a partnership between the St. Louis Regional Youth Employment Coalition (RYEC) and the Clark-Fox Family Foundation. RYEC, which consists of 25 organizations, was founded in 2018 and is focused on reducing unemployment among African Americans ages 20-24.

Blueprint4Careers is free to use and targets 17- to 25-year-olds in the city of St. Louis and north St. Louis County. The platform provides information about career credentialing and apprenticeship programs and includes job postings. About 400 youth will have the chance to get familiar with Blueprint4Careers at RYEC’s Level UP Conference on May 30. The resource is a tool exclusive to St. Louis, officials said.

“Our collaboration with partner organizations, has been a labor of love and with the coalition’s efforts we are able to launch in time for graduation. Every organization in RYEC had a seat at the table and actively contributed to content and execution. I feel that Blueprint4Careers is the best Blueprint tool yet,” said Clark. “Building on the success of our original platform, we’ve replicated major pieces of the technology to minimize cost and maximize impact. By centralizing information about relevant programs from summer to career credentialing, the Blueprint platform suite supports families across all timelines for kids and helps propel youth in our region to career and life success.” “

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