Boy Scouts, U.S. Chamber teaming to enhance career development

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With studies showing that youth participation in mentorship programs before college helps better position them for jobs, the Boy Scouts of America is teaming with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to bring more career development opportunities to young people across the country.

The partnership is designed to expand the reach of the Exploring program by encouraging local U.S. Chamber outposts to contribute to this mission by coordinating opportunities for area business leaders and Chamber members to start or engage with nearby Exploring posts and offer the mentorship program in a variety of professional fields.

"With the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we will connect even more young adults nationwide to business leaders in careers that speak to their passion," said Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive, Boy Scouts of America. "Besides the invaluable hands-on career experience the Exploring program creates, youth participants also gain confidence in their skills and meet with professionals who can help guide them on their path to success."

The modern workforce demands a dynamic skillset from young professionals, and with the increasing cost of higher education, the chance to explore various careers before entering college is a valuable opportunity for young people to find a path that suits their strengths. Approximately 70 percent of companies say that young people who participate in mentorship programs are likely to eventually land a college internship within their company. Through Exploring, youth can be better informed about their interests and strengths to make decisions about their careers and reach their professional goals.

"America today is a nation of people without jobs and jobs without people, but the solutions-driven leadership of the business community can make a difference in tackling that challenge," said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "The U.S. Chamber and the Boy Scouts of America are natural partners in efforts to create opportunities for Americans and build a stronger workforce. Through the Exploring program, the Boy Scouts of America can bring to the table young people who are eager to learn and succeed, and the business community can bring the jobs."

In addition to experiencing different career paths, the structured, experienced-based program allows young adults to explore their interests and cultivate crucial skills that will help them be successful in their chosen field as well as learn problem-solving, communication and teamwork that will give them the confidence to succeed in college and beyond.

"The Exploring program is more than an internship or job-shadowing program, it's an opportunity for young adults to form relationships with a future employer or mentor who can guide them in the right direction toward their chosen career," said Diane Thornton, national director of the Exploring Program. "Exploring also teaches young adults about the importance of developing leadership and character before entering the workplace – which helps these kids make smart decisions about their future."

The Exploring program is available to youth through Learning for Life, an affiliate program of the Boy Scouts of America that provides character and career education programs. To learn more about how to get involved in Exploring, visit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

The Exploring program is available to youth through Learning for Life, an affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that provides character and career education programs through sponsoring agencies or groups. The Exploring Program is currently offered in nearly 5,000 units nationwide, serving over 110,000 young men and women. To learn more about Exploring and experience all that this program has to offer youth, business leaders and the community, visit

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