What do Students Say about Career Readiness Opportunities?

Holly, an Executive High School Intern, had the opportunity to attend a Jefferson County Business Education Alliance Board of Directors meeting while serving as an intern to the West Chamber of Commerce. Her insights, below, are why we are so dedicated to providing students with employment training opportunities.

In Holly's own words:

What I Did: On Tuesday I created a PowerPoint presentation for the Chamber's upcoming event Jeffco Hall of Fame. On Thursday I helped another coworker catalog a list of businesses that attended a recent event, draw door prizes from those businesses, and organize leftover complimentary first aid kits and bags that had been available at the event. I also attended a meeting for Jefferson County Business Education Alliance, where I observed discussions about actions the Alliance is deciding on taking. Particularly the board discussed the current issue of updating Jefferson County libraries' technology and providing better resources there for residents and businesses. They also presented a list of career ready skills that students should ideally possess by the time they are looking for a job.

What I Learned: I learned that PowerPoint for events need to be simple for clarity's sake. I also saw how formally the Jefferson County Business Education Alliance board is, and the systematic, efficient way they must move for an action, second it, and vote in favor, against, or abstain from voting. Everything is thoroughly recorded, even my own attendance there, which took me by surprise since most events I have attended at my internship have not done so to such a degree. In looking over the career ready skills and trying to assess which ones I possess and which I struggle with in my internship, I feel I've been adaptable, dependable, responsible, and have taken initiative when possible. I know I have difficulty expressing my viewpoints and communicating with others, and I continually strive to improve this and other areas I lack. I agree with the board that all of these skills would constitute an ideally prepared employee coming from school, and that the schools need to devote more effort to teaching some of these skills, since they are currently lacking.

Thank you, Holly. The Career Ready Skills that she is referring to were identified through a series of Roundtable discussions with employers, large and small, in the Jefferson County Community. You can see these skills listed below:



  • Critical Thinking: Use logical thought processes to analyze issues and identify appropriate solutions.

  • Problem Solving: Diagnose, troubleshoot, and solve a range of unfamiliar problems in both conventional and original ways.

  • Leadership: Communicate and collaborate with a vision for the future, strategize and act on this vision and nimbly organize others around it.

  • Accountability & Personal Responsibility: Demonstrate efficient time management, self-monitoring, and the use of appropriate resources and recognize the interconnectedness of their actions with others.

  • Dependability & Trustworthiness: Behaves consistently, predictably, and reliably; attends regularly and punctually; demonstrates personal integrity; and treats others with honesty, fairness, and respect.

  • Productivity: Set goals; prioritize, plan, and manage the work; and achieve the intended results, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressures.

  • Initiative: Self-motivated, responsive, and acts in an independent manner

  • Grit: strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress.

  • Entrepreneurialism: Be able and willing to make mistakes, advocate for unconventional or unpopular positions, or tackle extremely challenging problems.

  • Creativity & Imagination: Incorporate curiosity and innovation to generate new or original thoughts, interpretations, products, works, or techniques.

  • Curiosity & Inquisitiveness: Possess the desire to know or the spark of interest that leads to inquiry.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Effectively interact with individuals, understand personal and social roles, respect personal boundaries, and help resolve conflict.

  • Communication: Speak clearly in a logically organized and coherent manner, recognize and interpret verbal/nonverbal behavior of others, considers others’ viewpoints, and is an effective listener.

  • Collaboration & Teamwork: Work effectively and respectfully in a team environment and with diverse individuals.

  • Flexibility & Adaptability: Adjust to situational needs and meet the challenges of new roles/environments with a balance of core beliefs and appropriate reaction to change.

  • Self-Awareness: Understand one's own emotions, motives, and learning style and act accordingly.

  • Self-Control: Control one's emotions, behavior, and desires under internal and external demands.

  • Optimism: Adopt an approach characterized by hopefulness and positivity while dealing with challenges or planning future outcomes.

  • Self-Regard & Balance: Understand and seek a balanced lifestyle that allows time for both work and play.

  • Social Awareness: Recognize and understand relations between international organizations/states, public and private economic entities, sociocultural groups, and individuals.

  • Civic Literacy & Citizenship: Effectively participate in civic life, exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship.

  • Ethics and Social Responsibility: Participate in the community and economy with sensitivity and respect.


  • Applied Mathematics: Apply mathematical concepts in work settings such as: use of mathematics operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to solve problems; convert numerical, money and time units; and solve problems that involve multiple steps of logic and calculation.

  • Locating Information: Find and compare information from multiple sources, understand how the information is related, summarize information, and identify trends.

  • Reading for Information: Read and understand materials, identify important details, and apply information and instructions on the job.

  • English Language Grammar and Writing: Appropriate use of standard English to clearly communicate thoughts, ideas and information in verbal and written form.

  • Science & Technology Literacy: Use of information technology, related applications, and the Internet to convey and retrieve information in a business-appropriate manner. Knowing and applying scientific principles and methods to solve problems.