DC Youth Corps, a summer youth employee professional development program, visits a US staple

On Friday, July 6th, FutureFIRST sent 11 summer youth employees from its DC Youth Corps Washington, D.C. summer 2018 cohort to the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) (@USMoneyFactory) to participate in an entrepreneurial outing. The youth employees are currently working with our Student Relations Manager, Courtney D. Bennett, on various professional development skills and constructive summer work experiences outside their assigned job sites to enrich their overall summer experience.

FutureFIRST was created to address the socioeconomic gap between people of color and their peers. They have developed a new approach to education and employment, with a mission of maximizing the economic potential and opportunity of at-risk minority young adults by combining job site exposure with top-tier technical training from industry leading instructors in the areas of data science, web development, user experience design and ecosystem building.

DC Youth Corps is a program that identifies and selects up to 50 minority young adults and on-boards them into five parallel cohorts in IT. These groups will utilize paired-learning while being exposed to entrepreneurial education concurrently with workforce preparation activities and training for specific occupations or occupational clusters. Cohorts will intersect in areas such as professional development, financial literacy, and preparation for postsecondary education and training.

The goal of the United States Bureau outing was to introduce the cohort of summer 2018 to the entrepreneurial side and various creative jobs offered at the BEP.


Upon arrival, the youth employees were met with an experienced staffer who surprised them with a guided tour of the printing facility to learn about the initial process of engraving and to see how banknotes are created. While the youth had the opportunity to learn the history of the facility, they were also granted the privilege of learning the many entrepreneurial opportunities of the BEP. Although the BEP is the sole producer of all US currency and the nation’s security printer, the BEP is an independent company whereby the United States government is a customer. Like the BEP there are other private companies and entrepreneurs who have a hand in making the Nation’s currency. Th youth were introduced to the company who produces the “paper” that the BEP uses to print banknotes. Which surprisingly turns out to not actually be paper at all, but a blend of cotton which makes our paper currency closer to cloth.

The youth ended the day with new knowledge to put into perspective and new examples of entrepreneurial career tracks. They were encouraged to explore opportunities to work with the BEP and to research other companies that contribute to the making of our Nation’s Currency. After the tour, the youth came back for a final question and answer session before ending their tour experience. Overall, the day was very hands-on, informative, and engaging for all involved.

DC Youth Corps brings together demonstrated leaders in the private and public sector to identify and train the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in opportunity communities. The professional development programs basic framework for learning opportunities that will complement the work experience gained during the 8-week program.

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