6 Step System for Career Readiness

Career Readiness

 Launches MentorTown USA®

Where: Bothwell Health Center Education Building

600 East 14th St., Sedalia, Missouri

When: 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

Presenter: Dr. Douglas Kiburz, Institute Board Chair

Institute contact #: 314-330-7078

The 43-year-old National Institute for Career Development launched MentorTown USA where every community assumes accountability and takes responsibility for preparing their youth for career life success. It is a career readiness process designed to prepare American youth for a good workforce and career life ‘FIT’. Securing a good ‘fit’ at work and in life is the number one goal of people form every city in the world!

“What everyone in the world wants is a good job. This is one of Gallup’s biggest discoveries ever. Of the 5 billion adults in the world, 3 billion say they desire a good or great job. People consider a great job to be one that uses their strengths at work and contributes to something. So, your job matters and subsequently, your life matters.” Jim Clifton, Chairman-CEO of Gallup

“Securing a good job and career is the top priority in the world.” Jim Clifton CEO Gallup

“The historical mission of education is to turn out students who are economically and occupationally successful, good citizens and happy people. Each of these things are highly measurable.” John Katzman, Princeton Review

The current U.S. system for preparing people for workforce and career life success is ‘failed’ and ‘broken!”

“‘The career planning system in the United States is a disaster,’ says the director of the National Institute for Career Development. ‘And if the planning system is a disaster, then it stands to reason why we have a lot of misplaced, unhappy and unproductive people’.”
The Weekender Magazine Supplement, April 10, 1980

“The ‘broken’ career system symptoms include the world’s highest college dropout rate; over 1.4 trillion student loan debt; and staggering levels of young adult underemployment. This crisis touches every family in America.” William Symonds, Pathways to Prosperity, co-author, 2017

And how does America currently feel about the level of workforce and career life preparation?

In 2018, the Missouri Chamber Foundation commissioned Gallup to survey more than 1,000 employers via phone and in-depth interviews around the nation. The Foundation also conducted one-on-one interviews with 50 of Missouri’s most influential employers and conducted six regional meetings across the state, reaching hundreds of Missouri employers and business leaders. The Gallup research showed:

  • More than 90% felt actions to improve education and workforce preparedness were absolutely necessary.
  • Only 15% of Missouri business owners agreed that high schools are preparing students for the workforce.
  • Only 44% of Missouri business owners are satisfied with the state’s availability of skilled workforce.

“Employers aren’t getting what they need from Missouri in terms of an educated, adequately skilled workforce. Workforce 2030, a new study by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, finds widespread dissatisfaction among employers about inadequate workforce preparedness.”


The 2011 Pathways to Prosperity study concluded that, “Employers know the need to improve our system but have left the job of preparing our youth almost solely to the schools. The average ratio of middle and high school students to counselors is 500 to 1. The price we pay for this neglect is staggering.”

“Across the U.S. there is an average of one counselor for every 455 public K through 12 students.”

In today’s economy, the goal for every child should be to complete a valued credential, a trade and or an associate, bachelor, and above degree by their 25th birthday.

“To succeed in today’s economy and earn middle class wages, a young person needs to graduate from high school, or an alternative credential, enroll in and complete some post-secondary education or job training, and then enter the labor market with skills that match employer demand.” Pathways to Prosperity, 2011

Ninety-Nine percent of the ‘net’ jobs created since 2009 have gone to workers with some postsecondary education.” Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 2019

The U.S. Career Readiness system is incapable of being ‘fixed’ at the national level.’

The last three U.S. Presidents made the completion of a postsecondary credential and or degree the highest of their educational priorities.

“Jim Marcus, higher education editor at the Hechinger Report, looked back at the proportion of graduates in the U.S. that the government pledged to be ready by 2019. Marcus says, ‘The government said that by 2019, 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 would have a postsecondary degree.’

Marcus reports the U.S. has improved a bit, but still only 48 percent of that segment of the population has degrees. That number won’t reach 60 percent until 2041, according to predictions by the Educational Testing Service.” The Hechinger Report, January 14, 2019

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey showed that Americans with post-high school education/training accounted for all the net new jobs created over the past decade. In stark contrast, the number of Americans with high school degrees or less employed over the past decade has fallen by 2,995,000.Brookings, 2019

In MentorTown USA, local Civic Commerce Education Faith-based Healthcare Human Services Performing Arts and Physical-activity employers assume accountability and take responsibility for the workforce and career life preparation of its youth.

“The jobs war is being fought at the city level around the world. City leadership – by which I mean not only elected leaders, but local business leaders, philanthropists and people who care deeply about their city’s future – is far more than national leadership.” Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup

In 2015, employers in Sedalia, Missouri, began the process of assuming accountability and taking responsibility for the workforce and career life preparation of its youth. This commitment followed a 2013 Workforce Readiness report commissioned by then Mayor Elaine Horn:

“The official launch of FIT (Forty-hour Internship Tryout) took place with a meeting of more than 40 leaders of business, industry and education leaders at the Katy Depot. Civic leader John Swearingen said, ‘All of us may never have a better opportunity to be a part something of such great benefit to our youth and our community.’

‘I feel we are helping shape and develop a program that will soon be the model for the nation. We have a group of smart, energetic people sitting right here in this room,’ Swearingin said, ‘What we need to do is lock arms and run right at it and get this done for everyone’.” The Sedalia Democrat, July 1, 2015

Sedalia’s public school district and largest private school welcomed the community’s commitment!

“I spoke to (Sedalia School District) Superintendent (Brad) Pollitt about it and once we heard more about the program we were in hook, line and sinker. We think it’s a great opportunity for students to look at their future career and live it as well. We are fortunate that we have a community that is willing to work with the schools and the students to give them the opportunity to explore their future career choices,” Principal Wade Norton said.” Sedalia Democrat, February 9, 2016

“‘All our seniors can complete this internship during the same week’, Sacred Heart career guidance director Sherry Buckley said. ‘One of the things the FIT program will add is an interest inventory that we will give all juniors and seniors.

‘We’re hoping that this will show the students some other options, and possibilities they many have not considered before,’ Buckley added. ‘That’s one of the other great things about what they are doing; The program is contacting local businesses to sign up to be a party of the program which will give our students more options.” Sedalia Democrat, March 31, 2016

And in Sedalia, MO where the following 120 employers pledged a minimum of 40 hours, an average of 1 hour per week for 40 weeks, of over 50,000 mentor coaching hours to serve the over 3,500 public and private K through 12 school students and their parent/guardians:

American Family Insurance, AutoMaster, Arnwine Construction, Backbone of Health, Bandana’s, B&P Construction, Banner Advertising, Baskets by Lynne, Best Western, Black Dawn Armory, Bodyworks Day Spa, Bothwell Regional Hospital Center, BRHC Physical Therapy, Boys and Girls Club, Bryant Motors, Buckley & Buckley Attorneys, Callis and Associates, Captured Memories, Center for Human Services, Central Missouri All Stars, Coca Cola, County Distributing Company, Dana Loves Marketing, Dugan Paint, El Epsilon Restaurant, Elliott Financial Services, Embassy, E.W. Thompson, Inc., Eye Clinic LLC,, Farm Bureau Insurance, Foley’s Equipment, Gardner Denver, GUESA, Hair Salon and Spa, Hayden Liberty Center for the Arts, Herrmann Lumber, Heritage Fabrication, Inc., Honey Bear Day Care Center, Horace Mann School, IMKO, Inter-State Studios, J&D Pharmacy, Kempton Law, LaMonte Police Department, LDW Farms, Leisure Park, Loving Care, Marcum Hauling Inc., Maintenance Source LLC, Co., Maxion Wheels, Mayor of Sedalia, Mefford & Vaugniaux & Assoc., McCarthy Auto, MFA Agri Services, Mid-City Lumber, Missouri Diamonds, Missouri House of Representatives, Missouri Orthopedic Center, Missouri State Fair Foundation, Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation, Moonlight Photography, Moore’s Green House, Pathways Behavioral Health Center, Peak Pediatric Offices, Performance Rehab Center, Pepsi Cola, Pettis County Collector, Pettis County Commissioner Office, Pettis County Commissioner, Pettis County Courts, Pettis County EDC, Pettis County Health Department, Pettis County Government, Pettis County Partnership, Pettis County Sheriff’s Department, Pathways Behavioral Center, PrintLynx, Pro Energy Services, RE/MAX, RE-Solutions, Reed and Sons Jewelers, Rick Ball Ford, Robert Treuner Masonry, Rollings Architects, Sacred Heart Counseling Office, Sacred Heart Administrator, Sacred Heart Foundation, Sedalia Area Chamber, Sedalia Auto, Sedalia Convention and Visitor’s, Sedalia Imaging Center, Sedalia Middle School, Sedalia School District 200, Sedalia Senior Center, Septagon, Sierra Bullets, Skyline Elementary, Sold by Donna, Spencer Orthodontics, Starline Brass, State Fair Floral, State Farm, Studio A Dance, Surgical Center of Sedalia , Table of 5,TaxPro, The Hair Salon, Thompson Hills Animal Clinic, United Way, Veterinarian, Warehouse Tire and Muffler, W-K Chevrolet, Wallace Architects, Warrensburg Medical Center, Wilken Music, Winchester Meadows, W & M Welding, Wilson Toellner CPA, Workforce Development, Xcelligent.

MentorTown USA is committed to changing the way cities and prepare their youth for workforce and career life!

A COMMITMENT FROM THE COMMUNITY, BUSINESS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT, HUMAN SERVICES AND EDUCATION IS THE KEY to career FIT through talent identification, development and mentoring!

The success of the Sedalia FIT program inspired the Institute to create a workforce and career life planning system, MentorTown USA. Currently, the Institute has begun building models in cities located within the 21 counties where Sedalia resides known as the Midwest Missouri region.

The cities within this Midwest Missouri region have populations of 25,000 or less … which is representative of 92% of the cities in the U.S. Cities like Higginsville, Missouri:

(AP) KMMO, April 20, 2021

“The Higginsville Board of Aldermen approved a resolution stating the city’s intent to support the MentorTown USA Program, which is a career-readiness system and mentor program carried out by the Lafayette County C-1 School District and employers .

Every K through 12 student and parent/guardian can go to MentorTown USA.com and begin working on a Talent Transcript that outlines a six-step ‘best practices’ process that the Institute modeled at three U.S. universities which is credited for changing the way postsecondary institutions prepare their students for workforce and career life success.

“In 1976, the National institute for Career Development director wrote the Career Development Process. This approach is designed to start the traditional placement function prior to the time a student enrolls in college and brings all the elements i.e., counseling, testing, curriculum, and placement into a coordinated focus. The process has been hailed by leading educators and is being implemented at other colleges across the nation.”
What will you do when you graduate? STAMATS, 1980

MentorTown USA communities provide students with a forty-five-year-old six step Career Development process that changed the way postsecondary education and training institutions prepare students for workforce and career life yet today:

  1. Find and develop the 7 basic and essential talents everyone needs regardless they eventually enter.
  2. Find and develop a unique set of talents that, when developed into skills and strengths, can provide everyone with the best possible workforce and career life ‘fit’.
  3. Investigate which of the 23 occupational fields, into which all 10,000 plus occupations are separated, provide best possible ‘fit’ with your ‘basic’ and ‘unique’ talent skills and strengths.
  4. Investigate and begin planning school activities i.e., arts, athletics, media, music, speech, student government, technology, etc., as well as community service and part-time job activities to begin determining where your talents can be utilized.
  5. Tryout a service-learning experience with a nonprofit that helps those in need.
  6. Tryout at least one Forty-hour Internship Training (FIT) experience prior to graduation.

For more information on how to have your community or individual employer become a member of MentorTown USA, please leave your message below.  

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