Connect2Careers (C2C) provides an online portal where employers post entry level and career pathway jobs and then have convenient access to a diverse population of young adults (between the ages of 16 and 24) that are certified work-ready.

Young Adult Job Seekers Employers
  1. Create a job seeker profile
  2. Sign up and attend Work Readiness Training (WRT 101)
  3. Match to job postings
  4. Apply to matched job postings
  1. Create organizational profile
  2. Post jobs
  3. Review matched applicants
  4. Offer interviews to applicants

Job Matching Tool
Employers and Connect2Careers job seekers use Connect2Careers, a job matching tool. In this tool, job seekers can sign up to attend WRT 101 and create an online job seeker profile where they list their skills, education, interests, and post a resume. Meanwhile, employers post positions with their job requirements. The tool uses an automated process to match potential job seekers that have completed Work Readiness Training (WRT 101) to job postings.

The matching tool starts the hiring process. There are no hiring decisions made without both party’s agreement and there is not a guarantee of matching or hire. Put simply, job seekers choose to apply for matched positions and employers decide to offer a job or interview to one or more job seekers that have applied to their positions. Final hiring decisions follow the employer's hiring processes.
Addresses a Gap
Today there is an unemployment gap of nearly 30,000 young adults ages 16 to 24 who are not in school or working in the Portland Metropolitan area. Meanwhile, local employers have voiced concern for the need of a pipeline of qualified, diverse young people so together, we can prepare these young adults for careers in local high-growth industries. The Connect2Careers program is designed to be a systematic and collaborative approach to bridge this gap.
2018 Demographics
Over 2,100 job seekers completed Work Readiness Training 101:
  • 49.9 % Under 18
  • 50.1 % 18 & Over
  • 63.8 % Youth of Color
  • 51.6 % Low Income
  • 90.0 % Not Employed
Connect2Careers is led by the Portland Metro workforce development board, Worksystems. Worksystems convenes and collaborates with local area employers, community organizations, secondary and post-secondary schools, and other organizations working with young adults to guide this initiative.
Partnerships and Outreach
Worksystems partners with Portland Metro secondary and post-secondary schools, public programs, and a network of over 50 community organizations to reach a diverse population of young adults where they are connected. Most of these schools, programs and organizations have shared interests and common goals to place their young populations into meaningful employment opportunities.

Additionally, Worksystems works with partner organizations to develop career fairs and other events where employers, schools and programs can come together to promote current opportunities for this young population. Here’s one proven example:

Annual Opportunity Youth Fair
In collaboration with the 100K Opportunities Initiative and Gateway to College National Network, Worksystems held its first Opportunity Youth Fair with its launch of Connect2Careers. Through this fair, we were able to deliver an enriching experience for young adults and help them learn about and connect with meaningful pathways for employment. The 2018 Opportunity Youth Fair yielded some serious statistics:
  • Over 50 employers presented job and internship opportunities
  • Over 20 community resources were present, such as education reengagement, training programs, transportation assistance and more
  • Approximately 1,200 youth attended
  • 209 youth were interviewed for jobs and internships and 103 were extended offers on the spot
  • The average salary offered was $14.30/hour.
  • Young adults made over 1800 serious contacts – this means they took applications, left their contact information for follow-up, or completed applications with our employers.
Experience the Fair Lastly, Worksystems employs a Business Specialist to develop relationships with potential employers and support them through the process of creating an employer profile and posting positions.
Work Readiness Training (WRT)
Before potential job candidates can apply for positions listed in the Connect2Careers job matching portal, all applicants must first complete a free WRT 101 training. This 10-12 hour training is designed to elevate job seeker competitiveness in today’s entry level marketplace. During training, job seekers get:
  • Certified in 5 essential workplace skills most valued by CEOs, business owners, and human resource professionals. This training is adapted from the New World of Work, a 21st-century skills curriculum, and it covers the following soft-skills:
    1. Adaptability
    2. Analysis/Solution Mindset
    3. Collaboration
    4. Communication
    5. Self-Awareness
  • Resume development
  • Interview preparation
  • An understanding of workplace expectations