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Start the Season with the Skills for Success

With the holiday season just around the corner, many small businesses — especially those in retail, food service and hospitality — may be hiring additional staff to assist with increased end-of-year business. Often, such short-term positions are filled by young workers new to the workforce. 

As with all employees, it's important that employers communicate to young workers what is expected of them in the workplace, in terms of not only everyday tasks, but also demeanor. Regardless of job description or industry sector, interpersonal skills—such as teamwork, decision-making and professionalism — are essential on the job at any age.  

Now, there is a quick and easy way to educate young employees on such "soft skills." The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently released a series of Skills to Pay the Bills video vignettes that illustrate, in a lighthearted way, six key characteristics of effective employees: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. 

By incorporating these short, free videos into new employee orientation or other training programs, employers can help young people better understand the attributes they need to fulfill their current job and carry into the future for career and personal success.  

The Skills to Pay the Bills video series was developed as a complement to the Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success comprehensive training curriculum. Although both the videos and curriculum were developed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), their content is applicable to young people both with and without disabilities. 

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