15 the inability to find qualified workers is their biggest obstacle to growth, with many indicat- ing their greatest needs are in the area of soft skills (e.g., communication, customer service, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking). A new initiative from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Workforce Development Effective- ness Project, was created to provide youth with the knowledge, skills and experiences to better prepare them for the workforce, thus improv- ing their socioeconomic potential over their lifetime. “At Boys & Girls Clubs, we want to provide a safe space for kids and teens to not only have fun but also reach their full potential by pro- viding opportunities to learn and gain new skills so that they are workforce ready,” said Clark. “We are so grateful to have the SunTrust Foundation as a new partner. With this grant, more Clubs will have a solid workforce devel- opment plan that will help them prepare our youth for life after graduation.” To develop this plan, Clubs will go through a series of intense, project-based learning expe- riences. This includes assessing their current workforce programming, participating in train- ing that focuses on strategic organizational planning, drafting goals, creating action plans, and presenting a story of their workforce pro- gram implementation and lessons learned to a panel of judges. “The SunTrust Foundation is committed to partnering with nonprofit organizations that support innovative programs focused on work- force development,” said Little. “The Boys and Girls Clubs Workforce Development Effective- ness Project will empower youth to create a sustainable future for themselves.” The first year of this program kicks off at Clubs in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Ten- nessee. To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the SunTrust Foundation partnership for the Workforce Development Effectiveness Project, visit www.bgca.org/Sun- Trust.