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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Opportunity Inc. (Hampton Roads WIB)

Virtual Youth Career Center

Innovation photo or program logo

Community Challenge/Problem

The Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads (YCCHR) is a project of Opportunity Inc., the Workforce Investment Board serving 8 localities in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan area. The YCCHR is funded with a combination of Workforce Investment Act and private funds. Although the Career Center is centrally located in Virginia Beach’s Pembroke Mall, not all clients can make it to the center.

Board Solution/Innovation

In order to expand access to career services, on February 14, 2011 the YCCHR unveiled the Virtual Youth Career Center (VYCC), a three-dimensional, avatar-based virtual location accessible to youth via the Internet. The new virtual center allows youth 14-21 to interact with peer mentors and YCCHR outreach assistants to explore career options, plan educational endeavors and prepare themselves for employment.

The VYCC was developed in collaboration with Old Dominion University (ODU) and will be jointly managed. Student peer mentors from ODU along with AmeriCorps volunteers from the Youth Career Center hold virtual “walk-in” hours on the site. Using avatars, two-way audio and chat they will help youth explore career fields and prepare for job searching.

Outcomes & Results

The Virtual Youth Career Center allows youth to access career-related assistance in a venue that is common to the technologically savvy youth today and is in itself a career immersion activity.

To check out the new virtual center, visit

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