Boys and Girls Clubs partnership recognized for innovative approach to workforce development

Author: Erin Blasko

Boys And Girls Club Feature

A partnership between the University of Notre Dame and the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County (BGCSJC) is garnering attention from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for its innovative approach to workforce development.

In its monthly “Feel Good Roundup,” distributed to BGCA employees nationwide, the national organization recently highlighted a pilot program that offers local Boys and Girls Clubs members the opportunity to work part-time for Notre Dame as a way to gain important job skills.

Involving hospitality work with Notre Dame’s University Enterprises and Events (UEE), the 12-week program launched with 11 members in January. Participants ages 15 to 18 work in a variety of jobs in the areas of dining/food service, food retail and catering, earning $13.50 per hour for 10 to 13 hours of work per week. They also receive weekly career counseling in areas such as customer service, resume building and interview skills. Those who complete the program are guaranteed on-call work for Notre Dame events.

Jacqueline Kronk is CEO of BGCSJC.

“Preparing our club kids for the future and the workforce is a critical component of our programming,” Kronk said. “We have a unique advantage with a partner like Notre Dame just down the road, and are thrilled to extend this opportunity to our club teens.”

For Notre Dame, it is a unique opportunity to grow its on-call workforce, and to contribute to workforce development more broadly amid an ongoing tight labor market.

Ashley Zingo is director of employee engagement for UEE.

“We enjoy providing a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experience for the students,” Zingo said. “There are so many jobs in our industry that kids may not be aware of, and this introduction will be so beneficial.”

Part of the Office of the Executive Vice President, UEE is responsible for the planning and execution of a wide range of University events, from commencement to concerts and special events on home football weekends. It also oversees McKenna Hall, the Morris Inn, Legends, Rohr’s, Three Leaf Catering and Campus Dining, among other departments and venues.

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Originally published by Erin Blasko at on February 14, 2022.