Stamford, Conn. – This year The Ashforth Company teamed up with Future 5, a nonprofit organization, located in Stamford, CT, dedicated to helping low income high school students graduate and transition to skilled jobs, college or vocational studies. In addition to a financial contribution, Ashforth collaborated with Future 5’s staff to create a work experience program for the students as an in-kind contribution to the organization.
A part of Domus, Future 5’s mission is to connect high school students to the world and their futures - by helping them develop a plan for achievement in school and life, and by connecting them to a web of on-going coaching support to make this achievement possible. They served 92 students in Stamford public high schools with hopes to serve well over 100 students during the upcoming school year. The longer term plan is to replicate the Future 5 model in other urban school systems within Connecticut.
Ashforth provides this work experience program to help Future 5 students further their job training skills and goals. It’s a three tiered program beginning with an overview/tour of the company, followed by job shadowing and then internships for selected students. Approximately 20 students participated in one or more of these work experience opportunities. The program is geared towards complimenting Future 5’s job certification program for internship and job readiness training, where students learn communication and teamwork skills, problem solving and interview skills and resume and job search strategies.
“We’re so proud to have the opportunity to help the Future 5 students. They have shown such commitment and dedication to creating goals and plans to improve their path in high school and beyond. It’s been an extremely rewarding experience for me and our employees,” said Andrew Ashforth, co-CEO of The Ashforth Company.
The program was rolled out in February and summer internships were recently completed. The first part of Ashforth’s program involves a two-hour company introduction and tour. Approximately 15-20 students visit Ashforth’s headquarters in Stamford. Beginning with an overview of the company to all, students then break into smaller groups for a tour to meet a cross-section of departments including its construction and property management divisions. Each department speaker provides a brief overview including a description of the department’s responsibilities and day-to-day job roles. This employee also shares a personal story regarding how he/ she got involved in their specific field and how he/she started and progressed within the company.
Job shadowing is the second part of the program. Selected students have an opportunity to spend part of a day shadowing Ashforth employees in particular job functions. This involves a two hour in-depth overview of specific job roles and overall department responsibilities. Each student chooses the department (s) to shadow.
And the third aspect of the program is the opportunity for an internship. Students may apply for Ashforth’s available summer internships. Included are opportunities for selected students to be exposed to one or more of the building trades, manual labor or corporate office work. Sinclair Gyasi is one of three Future 5 students who interned this summer at Ashforth. Gyasi worked in the IT, marketing, human resources and finance departments. She is a Stamford resident and graduated Westhill High School and Future 5 this past June. “Interning with Ashforth has been really cool. All the employees are nice and definitely went out of their way to make me feel welcome and I really enjoyed learning about and experiencing all different positions that make the company successful,” said Gyasi. She will attend UCONN Stamford this fall majoring in communications.
Future 5’s executive director Clif McFeely said, “The partnership with Ashforth has been a homerun for us. We are all about helping high school kids make connections and Ashforth has provided those connections – to a great company and some truly caring employees. We’re hoping more local companies will start a similar program with us.”
For additional information on Future 5 and ways to get involved visit www.futurefive.org
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About The Ashforth Company (www.ashforth.com)
Headquartered in Stamford, CT, The Ashforth Company is a 116-year-old diversified real estate firm that owns, develops, and invests in assets on the East and West Coasts, and provides third party services including asset and property management, general contracting and construction management. Directly and through its affiliates, the company owns/manages over seven million square feet of office space nationwide.