The Rochester Museum & Science Center has been awarded funding from the Monroe County Industrial Development Corp. board to expand its Career Ladder workforce development program.
The expanded program will provide additional opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to participate and develop critical work skills that will prepare them for jobs in science, technology, arts and culture.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello was instrumental in securing the support, RMSC officials said.
The Career Ladder program was started in 2011 for high school students from the city of Rochester to develop critical work skills by providing long-term, on-the-job training in a positive and supportive environment. Since then, the program has provided work experience to more than 65 students. Students work as part of the RMSC Education Department team engaging with museum visitors, facilitating educational programming and maintaining exhibits.
“Connecting young people from underserved communities with career opportunities and helping them develop critical work skills in a supportive, positive environment helps us foster a more sustainable and healthy community,” Bello said in a statement. “The Rochester Museum and Science Center Career Ladder Program helps break down barriers to opportunity so more of our young people can explore career pathways in the STEM and arts and culture sectors. This is a win-win for all of us. I applaud the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation Board for recognizing how important this program is and thank the Rochester Museum and Science Center for its continued support of our high school and college students and young adults.”
The funding will enable RMSC to grow the number of Career Ladder participants from throughout the community, expand the program to include college students and young adults, as well as provide additional training and diverse work experiences.
Participants also will be able to advance to higher levels of responsibility. Career Ladder will help prepare students from underserved communities for cutting edge jobs in STEM fields.
“This program opens students’ eyes to the variety of job opportunities available for them in the museum and STEM fields. Not only are they getting real-world job experience, they’re also building confidence to go out and pursue a career in these fields that are historically lacking in diversity,” said RMSC President and CEO Hillary Olson. “We’re grateful that the county sees the value of the Career Ladder program and is able to support us as we grow our program offerings to reach even more students and help them succeed.”