Children & Youth Programming: Equipping Young People for Success Through Career Exploration


April 24, 2017

With a goal of ensuring every Michigan child is prepared with the knowledge, tools and skills to lead a healthy and productive life, MSU Extension’s children and youth programming uses the experiential learning model through which children learn best. This hands-on, learn-by-doing programming is concentrated in five core areas, one of which is career exploration and workforce preparation.

Through this priority area, MSU Extension provides programs and services that help youth explore future careers and entrepreneurship while enhancing their financial literacy and developing important skills for the workforce. As a result, Michigan youth are better prepared to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

Delivered through webinars, face-to-face workshops and other mechanisms, MSU Extension offers a variety of training, curricula and materials to support career exploration and workforce development. Resources in this priority area focus on:

Career Preparation

For many young people, determining how they will spend their adult working life can be an overwhelming decision. To support them in their exploration, MSU Extension offers workshops and resources for youth and adults who work with them that assist young people in identifying their skills, interests and values. While helping them discover potential career pathways and continuing education options, MSU Extension also helps youth to develop real-world job skills such as writing resumes and thank-you letters, interviewing, learning a proper business handshake, networking and more. Among the many MSU Extension tools to support adults and youth in this area is the Michigan-authored National 4-H curriculum Build Your Future: Choices… Connections…. Careers, which is adaptable in many settings.


Michigan’s youth are filled with creative and passionate ideas that could easily become booming business ventures. To help youth understand that these ideas can turn into business plans and future careers, MSU Extension provides a variety of resources to support young entrepreneurs. Using low-risk and fun simulations, youth learn how to cultivate passionate ideas, develop a business plan, operate a business and much more. In addition to customizable youth programs, adults can also receive training on entrepreneurship curricula, resources and programs that they can use with club, school or community groups.

Money Management

No matter their future goals, all youth need to be financially literate. To help youth learn the important skill of money management, MSU Extension is making financial education fun through hands-on workshops on topics such as goal setting, decision making, budgeting, saving, investing and borrowing as well as financial services, earning potential and risk management. Adults can also receive training on how to teach these important lessons to youth through MSU Extension supported curricula that include Financial Champions, Reading Makes Cents, Consumer Savvy and the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning Program. 

Contact Us

For more information about MSU Extension’s career exploration and workforce preparation programs and resources, contact or visit the 4-H Careers and Entrepreneurship webpage.


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