Career Launch Program
Career Launch is Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area's workforce development program which prepares teens for the world of careers and work. As of summer 2022, participants have completed 30,000 hours of employment with $500,000 in collective income.
Career Launch is free and inclusive for all young adults looking to enter the workforce. This 9-week program includes professional instruction to prepare young adults 16-24 for entry into livable wage career fields like construction, hospitality, agriculture, culinary arts, medical, and technology. Learning opportunities include financial literacy, goal setting, resume building, interviewing, job fair experience and more.
Get PAID while learning
Get help obtaining your driver's license and/or ID
Get help obtaining transportation, supplies, tools, and attire to start employment/training
Scholarship, Job Placement and Internship opportunities
Let's do this! Be sure to scroll down to our What To Do After High School section for more info.
To get started contact:
David Gordon Jr.
Program Manager Albany Clubhouse
(518) 462-5528 ext. 1013
Workforce Development Program Director
What To Do After High School
Navigating the transition from high school begins even before crossing the graduation stage. As teens enter their junior and senior years, they begin to wonder “What’s next?” When young people identify their passions, they are better able to map out what they enjoy doing to the wide array of options after high school.
At Boys & Girls Clubs, kids and teens often get a head-start on thinking about careers, college and other post-high school opportunities. Club members explore interests along with potential careers and postsecondary education such as college or trade school that could be a good fit for their future. Every day, caring mentors guide Club members as they identify aspirations, create a post-secondary plan and take steps like completing financial aid applications.
What should I do with my life after high school?
There are many ways to find success after high school — but where, how and at what cost? When thinking about college and career, it’s important to start by identifying your interests and how you can realistically live out your interests and passions.
Parents, friends, and mentors can be valuable conversation partners to point out a young person’s special talents, activities that energize them and where they most often succeed. Ask someone in your life, “What do you see me getting excited about? What are my strengths?”
Self-examination is another important step to identify passions. High school students can answer these questions (and others) to find their passion and start matching it to a great future.
If I could teach people about one thing, it would be...
I don’t mind waking up early if it’s so that I can...
If I won first place in something, it would be for...
My friends always ask my advice about...
If money or school didn’t matter, I would spend my time...
I feel most alive and happy when I am...
I lose track of time whenever I am...
Let these conversations and answers help you identify the interests you care most about, and then start researching jobs and opportunities related to those interests.
Should I go to college? How do I pick a college?
Deciding on the right education pathway can be aided by creating a pros and cons list. You can create a pros and cons list by doing research on a particular career that may be of interest and exploring how to gain those skills to reach that career.
Many careers require a degree, so doing research is important on your potential career choice to further understand their employability skills and requirements. Select the education option that gives you the degree or training for the career you are most interested in right now. It’s also helpful to select a secondary option that could work for you. U.S. military colleges are generally four-year institutions and are a great option to consider.
Are you unsure of careers you’re interested in but know that you want to pursue a degree? Consider your passions and explore college options that have programs and degrees aligned with your interests. Many of these programs provide lists of the types of careers graduates of the program go into, which will help you decide if those programs make sense for you.
Consider taking a tour of the colleges you are interested in or virtual campus tours and envisioning yourself there. You can also speak with an admissions counselor or school representative during a tour or college fair. Consider your budget, scholarships, and application criteria to help narrow down selections.
Resist falling in love with just one school. It’s important to keep your options open until you know what kind of financial aid you might receive and get a realistic picture of your total out-of-pocket costs to earn your desired degree.
If I’m not pursuing college, what should I do?
In addition to a four-year university, there are numerous ways to continue your education after high school. Community college, trade, or vocational school—whether in-person or online –offer a wide selection of degrees, courses, and trainings in specific fields.
Some companies offer apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs to attract people for certain careers. Getting an entry-level job is another option that provides more time to develop practical skills while building a personal career development plan. Others might consider enlisting in the military. Some people find benefit in taking a gap year to work, travel or consider next steps in their education.
How to figure out your future career
The good news is no one expects you to know your career when you’re a teenager—and your career can evolve over your working life. This is the time to explore, discover and wonder about the possibilities.
To figure out careers that might interest you, continue exploring career options that match with your passion and interests. Remember to think outside the box. Love sports? There are many careers in the sports industry beyond becoming a professional athlete. Love writing but aren’t sure you can make a living as a novelist? Know that there are diverse jobs that apply writing skills across all industries.
You got this!
Through Career Launch, youth get the chance to explore various careers based on their interests and talents, determine the corresponding educational path they need to pursue, and map out a plan for their future.
The program incorporates the three pillars of BGCCA’S Workforce Development Framework:
1. Pillar One: Career exploration and matching. Through career exploration and matching, youth learn about and explore various careers and career pathways. They also reflect on and explore their strengths, interests, and passions, with the opportunity to match their interests to potential careers.
2. Pillar Two: Skills development (essential workplace skills). Through a focus on skills development, youth gain the knowledge and build the abilities that are essential for the workplace, including skills such as communication, active listening, setting priorities, professionalism, and ethical behavior.
3. Pillar Three: Work-based learning experiences. Through partnerships with community organizations, along with BGCA programs such as Junior Staff, youth have the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and job-readiness skills as they engage in summer jobs, internships, or other part-time employment.
The program is designed to help youth get around immediate barriers, easing their present needs by creating the proper environment for planning and training in a livable wage career. While on the road to a career the youth receive financial literacy training and professional mentorship to ensure they have all the tools needed to take ownership of their futures.
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from Bank of America, the expanded workforce development program will allow the BGCCA to reach even more young people with professional guidance and skills-building opportunities. The program also uniquely offers participants all the resources they need to succeed, such as transportation, nutritious food and identification documents.
In The News:
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area expands CareerLaunch program - Saratogian, August 20, 2021
Empowering Young People to Succeed
To help young people meet the workforce challenges of tomorrow, they need safe spaces, positive mentorship and work experiences today.
At BGCCA, we allow kids and teens to:
Explore their interests and passions
Develop their employability skills
Apply their knowledge to real-world work experiences
From an early age through high school, supportive Club mentors provide opportunities to explore careers and prepare youth with employability skills for future success. Clubs also connect teens to real-life work experiences such as internships and apprenticeships.