PLATTSBURGH — Gen Z can gain valuable soft skills in “Ready4Real” education programming powered by ETS.

“It is a series of engaging and interactive career and life preparedness lessons,” Amber Parliament, ETS director of marketing and engagement, said.

“We deal with a lot of employers in the area. It was kind of a trend that were were seeing that manufacturers and employers, in general, are getting increasingly concerned about the soft skills development in the workforce.”



ETS calls soft skills work-readiness skills.

“We throw around the terms soft skills and hard skills,” she said.

“Soft skills, we think, are even more important than your hard skills. With this concern that we saw in employers, we felt the need for someone to step up and integrate soft-skill development with the workforce that is up and coming, with generations that will be entering the workforce shortly and the generations that are already in the workforce.”

Michele Armani, ETS education outreach consultant, conducts 10 sessions (See Box), supplemental curriculum, targeting 11th and 12th-grade high-school students.

She takes a deep dive to understand each school's challenges and what students are struggling with.

"Michele will connect with the organization or school that wants to include the Ready4Real training," Parliament said.

"Each student, each school are vastly differently. She takes the time to understand what is currently going on and what they would like to kind of develop more and focus on."



ETS received two grants in 2018.

“We got a $110,000 grant from the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act for Title I Youth Services and $5,000 from the Adirondack Foundation,” Parliament said.

“Last year, we piloted the program in Seton and Beekmantown. This year, the program is in Chateaugay, PHS, Saranac, Beekmantown and Northern Borders P-Tech in Malone.”

ETS will be adding a few more during the second half of the school year.

The program is offered bi-weekly, and it takes two quarters to complete the programming.

“The students and teachers, the feedback that we've gotten from them is this program has had such a positive impact on the health of their students allowing them to be able to become better communicators and more productive members of society,” Parliament said.

Teachers have shared that they learned more about their students on the first day of Ready4Real than the whole year.

The program is a product of ETS customized by Armani, and they are poised to bring it to area employers as well.

“It's not just designed for schools but actually taking this programming and bringing it to employers where it can be very customizable and tailored to whatever they need,” Parliament said.

“They don't have to do the full 10 sessions. With four generations in the workforce, we've finding that a lot of people are very interested in this programming right now.”



The four generations spans from the Baby Boomers to Gen Z.

“With that, they all communicate very differently,” Parliament said.

“We're in low unemployment right now. Economic confidence is sky high, but personal confidence within the workforce, we find, is missing among the emerging workforce.

“Even though there is a ton of economic confidence, it's the actual personal confidence that is missing. We believe that confidence is the driving force when it comes to your soft skills, communication, leadership, teamwork. And that is really why this programming was developed to really drive that personal confidence.”

For more information contact 518-562-4673 or email Michele Armani at:


Email Robin Caudell:





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