BlogWorkforce Development

Partnering for Success: How YBLC & Businesses Work Together

YouthBuild Lake County (YBLC) thrives on the power of partnership. Our collaboration with local businesses is a cornerstone of our mission to empower young adults and strengthen the community. By working together, we create meaningful opportunities for our participants, equipping them with both the soft and hard skills needed to succeed in today’s job market.


At YBLC, we believe that the strength of our community lies in the power of partnership. Our mission to empower young adults through education, training, and employment opportunities is significantly enhanced by the robust collaborations we have with local businesses. These partnerships are not just beneficial—they are essential. They create a dynamic environment where both our participants and local employers thrive, driving economic growth and community development.

The heart of our program is rooted in the belief that real-world experience, guided by industry professionals, is critical for our participants success. By working closely with local businesses, we ensure that our trainees receive relevant hands-on experience and mentorship in their chosen fields. This collaborative approach equips our young adults with both the hard and soft skills they need to succeed, while also addressing the pressing need for skilled workers in various industries. It’s a win-win situation: our participants gain meaningful employment opportunities, and employers benefit from a motivated, well-prepared workforce.



YBLC recognizes that preparing young adults for the workforce requires more than just technical training. Our programs emphasize the development of soft skills, which are crucial for long-term career success. Through mock interviews, volunteers from various companies across several industries help our participants prepare for their first real job interviews. These sessions include simulated questions and constructive feedback, providing invaluable practice in a supportive environment.


Additionally, PGIM hosts Communications Workshops tailored to modern job market demands. These workshops cover essential interview communication skills such as maintaining eye contact and speaking clearly. They also address the evolving nature of digital interviews, offering advice on how to conduct yourself during Zoom calls, including tips on appropriate backgrounds and environments. This comprehensive preparation ensures our participants are confident and ready to make a positive impression on potential employers.


Hard skills are equally important, and YBLC collaborates with local businesses to offer three-week work experiences that give participants a chance to gain hands-on experience in their chosen industries. These work experiences are not only a cornerstone of YouthBuild Lake County’s program, but serve as the most direct way for local companies to partner and impact participants’ futures. 

Work Experiences are not limited to construction, either. While construction is YBLC’s primary focus, our Career Access team works hard to build new bridges for individuals who fall outside this industry. 

Participants who are interested in real estate might shadow agents during open houses and closings. Aspiring healthcare workers can assist in private medical offices around the county, gaining hard-to-reach experience with patient care. Meanwhile, participants with a passion for construction apply their training on residential and industrial sites, directly utilizing the skills they’ve learned at YBLC. 

A great example is Emilio, pictured, who came to YBLC with an interest in starting a career in the automotive industry but did not know where to start. Emilio completed his 3-week work experience with Certified Auto Body, where he learned skills underneath seasoned industry professionals. Emilio made an impact and was hired full-time as a Collision Repair Specialist last month. 

Emilio is not the first participant to be hired out of a work experience; they often lead to permanent job opportunities. Many employer partners, impressed by the dedication and capability of YBLC participants, go on to hire them after they graduate. Steve Blinderman, CEO of Blinderman Construction, attests to this: “Blinderman Construction has been an enthusiastic Employer-Partner of YouthBuild Lake County for many years. We have found our YBLC hires to be grateful for the opportunity and highly motivated. Seeing them become part of our permanent crew is our ultimate reward. The benefit to these young adults is profound.”



SSo we have explained why YBLC partners with employers, but why do businesses choose to partner with YBLC? The answer lies in the symbiotic relationship that benefits the participants, the business, and the community as a whole.

For employers, by investing in the development of local youth, they are cultivating a pipeline of skilled, eager-to-work individuals. These young adults are more than employees; they are future leaders who bring fresh perspectives and a strong work ethic to the workplace. This investment also fosters a sense of corporate social responsibility, enhancing the company’s reputation within the community.

Furthermore, the community at large benefits from these partnerships. As more young adults secure stable employment, local economies strengthen, and social issues such as unemployment and crime rates decrease. The ripple effect of these positive outcomes extends far beyond the individual participants, contributing to a more vibrant and prosperous community.


Whether you are interested in volunteering to join the next mock interview or becoming a full-on employer partner who hosts YBLC participants for Work Experiences, YBLC is always interested in adding new partners to our constantly growing network of like-minded individuals seeking to better Lake County. Join us in our mission to empower young adults and create a brighter future for our community.