SGCC Alumni: Where Are They Now?

The Skillful Governors Coaching Corps (SGCC), an intensive eight-month program that provides coaches with the tools and training they need to better serve job seekers has provided career development for 157 career coaching professionals in Colorado and Indiana. In a new series, we will catch up with career coaches who have been through the program, to see how the SGCC has impacted their careers and find out where they are now. Our first featured coach is Brooklyn Burton, a graduate of the inaugural Indiana SGCC.

After graduating from the SGCC, Brooklyn pursued a new career opportunity as Executive Director of Career Coaching and Employer Connections (CCEC) at Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette, she believes her experience with the SGCC helped her feel prepared to take on a new challenge. “When I saw this opportunity come up, I felt like I was able to take the skills that I had gathered through job experience and continued education opportunities like the SGCC and transfer them into this position,” said Brooklyn. She landed the job and is now the Executive Director at CCEC, a new college-wide initiative. CCEC provides services and development to students, alumni, and employers. It combines the efforts of career development and employer engagement to address the needs of students and employers in the community. This is a new strategic approach for Ivy Tech and it’s going to emphasize career readiness practices and preparation throughout the student’s experience at the community college and additionally, deepen employer engagement through continuing to work with them to identify their workforce training needs and providing training through the strategies that Ivy Tech has available.

Brooklyn says, “the SGCC allowed me to accelerate my impact on workforce development. I focused on real-time workforce development issues through the intensive, multi-tiered career coaching program. This led to rich discussions with my action team to explore team building pathways, research on how we bridge the gap between employers and individuals, and group decision making. Through these collaborative conversations, I strengthened my career coaching knowledge and leadership skills which led me to my current position, Executive Director, Career Coaching & Employer Connections at Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette. Throughout this process, I made great friends, learned new skills, and can better connect Hoosier job seekers with training, education, and employment opportunities. The 1:1 coaching sessions with Ripp Leadership over the eight months were also invaluable for me. Thank you to the generosity of SGCC-Indiana; this was of no cost through the leadership program. I met with a highly experienced and certified coach where together we defined my personal goals, explored values, and identified barriers. The career coaching helped boost my self-confidence, as I received support for on-going self and leadership development.” This career advancement paired with Brooklyn’s impressive background in helping job seekers and employers made her the ideal candidate for this role. Brooklyn’s story also underscores the value of career coaching. Even for an experienced professional like Brooklyn, working with a career coach helped her build skills that led to both professional and personal growth, proving that no matter where an individual is in their career, working with a career coach can have tremendous value.

While in the SGCC, she worked as the project manager for two department of labor grants, the Ready to Work grant and the America’s Promise grant. Those grants were awarded to Tecumseh Area Partnership, Inc. d/b/a Region 4 Workforce Board. These grants served those that were long-term unemployed or long-term underemployed and had a focus on advanced manufacturing. Individuals went through a weeklong employability skills training hosted by Purdue and Ivy Tech community college. Once job seekers completed those trainings, they would have a job fair and a job developer would work with them to help them obtain work experience or employment in advanced manufacturing. In this role, Brooklyn was key in implementation and bringing the program, which helped placed over 1500 program participants into advanced manufacturing training and served over 2,000 participants throughout a 12-county region, to fruition. After this role, she spent a year as an employer consultant with Ivy Tech where she worked with employers to identify their challenges and their workforce needs and connected them to Ivy Tech strategies that helped them upskill their workforce.

Now, Brooklyn’s new team works with students throughout their academic journey. The career coaches support students in writing a resume, cover letter, and creating a portfolio or LinkedIn profile. They also talk to them about work and learning experiences, and how to build a professional network. Brooklyn says, “the portfolio is something they will build, and it will be a toolkit that they can take with them throughout their life. The SGCC helped me gain those skills to continue to build that focused one-to-one relationship with students to help them determine what are the right steps for them in their career path and ensuring that whatever steps that you are building with them match their values, their interests, and their skills.”

To find out more about the SGCC visit: https://www.skillful.com/career-coaches