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January 16, 2014

STANCZYKIEWICZ: Employers' role in mentoring our youth

(Continued)

Due to mentoring’s positive impact on youth and economic development, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce endorses the business and youth development strategy of providing employees with paid time off each week to mentor. “Mentorships are an integral component of Indiana’s strategy to reduce the dropout rate and improve student preparedness and performance,” said the state chamber’s President & CEO, Kevin Brinegar. “Mentors can provide a valuable link between an at-risk student and the pathway to a good job. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce encourages Hoosier employers to provide regular time off for their employees to serve as mentors to our youth.”

Mentoring also has an impact on today’s workforce. “As CEO I’m also the Chief Environmental Officer, and this does have a tangible impact on the environment of our workplace,” Taylor explained. Taylor added that Do It Best enjoys good public relations from the company’s mentoring program, and that positive community image helps Do It Best recruit top talent for open jobs. In addition, the mentoring program enhances team chemistry.

Taylor concluded, “It’s a win-win for the company, the staff members and the young people being mentored.”

A free resource offered by the Indiana Mentoring Partnership is available for employers who want to start a youth mentoring program. The brief booklet, “Developing Your Business as a Champion for Youth Mentoring,” (located online at abetterhour.org), describes how to partner with local mentoring agencies and establish guidelines to ensure accountability.

The manual is based, in part, on the mentoring program conducted by Old National Bank, headquartered in Evansville. Old National provides employees with 30 minutes each week to mentor a child. The bank’s executive vice president, Kathy Schoettlin, takes full advantage of the program and said her mentee is not the only person who benefits.

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