Greater Irvine Chamber's Career Edge Named Outstanding Program of the Year

Friday, February 09, 2018

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The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge was named the 2017 Outstanding Program of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff on Feb. 8 at the W.A.C.E. Annual Conference held this year in Henderson, Nevada.

“In addition to the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from students, educators, and the business community, recognition from our colleagues across the Chamber industry is further indication of the value of the Career Edge program and the Chamber’s role to ensure a highly-skilled, 21st-century workforce that our employers seek,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president of Greater Irvine Chamber, and Economic Development and Tourism, who spearheads the program.

Career Edge is a simple but important solution to a challenge that Orange County companies face: new employees who arrive with the knowledge and technical skills necessary but lack satisfactory business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

"Survey work conducted among our top companies several years ago told us that new employees, while highly skilled in their professions, were lacking soft skills – critical thinking, communication, business etiquette, and team work. Career Edge tackles those soft skills,” DiMario said. “Students and new hires can polish these valuable skills through the program and become more effective in the workplace."

More than 200 Irvine Valley College (IVC) students participated in Career Edge during a two-year pilot phase. Because of the success of the pilot program, this year Career Edge was extended to students enrolled at any college or university located in Irvine. Volunteer mentors and presenters from a variety of professions facilitate the workshops.

“This is a unique concept, a convergence of business and education teaching students relationship building and communication skills,” said Dr. Cathleen Greiner, dean, Business Sciences, Online and Extended Education at IVC. “Students participating in Career Edge are able to gain real-world experiences from a variety of perspectives. What they learn today, they can apply on Monday.”

Career Edge was developed by DiMario, in partnership with Dr. Greiner, John Kurth of Syntactics Sales Scripting, and Brian Dozer, director of Webster University Irvine.

Other career readiness programs offered by the Greater Irvine Chamber are job discovery & internships, and financial and ethics forums.

For more information and to become involved in Career Edge, contact Pepper Russell at prussell@irvinechamber.com or (949) 502-4129.

Category: Chamber News