Students sitting at desks during a Job Prep class with instructor at the front of the room

Wichita, Kansas — The Greater Wichita YMCA today announced a new partnership with Wichita Public Schools that will significantly expand its long-running Job Prep initiative. Funded through the Y’s Strong Community Campaign and sponsored by Koch Industries, Job Prep is a free program that creates work-ready teens through training, development, certifications in the classroom and time/experience in the workplace. Beginning in 2022, in-person Job Prep sessions will not only be offered at the Downtown and Steve Clark Y branches; they will also be made available to students at six Wichita Public Schools high schools: North, South, West, Southeast, Heights and Education Imagine Academy. 

“We know how valuable Job Prep can be to teens who are looking for direction in their lives, and we are honored to work with USD 259 to reach out to even more youth,” said Tyrone Baker, who heads the initiative as the Y’s Community Development Senior Program Director. “In the 13 years since we created Job Prep, we’ve seen countless teens discover their true potential and begin to believe in themselves after attending the sessions and being hired for the summer by one of our partner businesses.” 

Job Prep classes meet for two hours in the evening once a week for 12 weeks starting the week of February 7. Teens must be between the ages of 15-17 to participate in JOB PREP at Y branches; sessions at area high schools are for students between the ages of 16-17.

“Our goal is to give students the tools they need to succeed in their path after high school, and Job Prep is a wonderful addition to those efforts,” said Gil Alvarez, deputy superintendent, Wichita Public Schools. “We are proud to work with the Greater Wichita YMCA to support our community’s youth and celebrate all that they can accomplish and contribute to the world around them.”  

As part of the Job Prep curriculum, participants learn to:

  • Find and review job postings;
  • Prepare and submit a job application;
  • Prepare for and participate in a job interview with a Job Prep partner business;
  • Dress for success;
  • Work well with others in any situation;
  • Manage their money and prepare for the future— at work and in life;
  • First aid and CPR skills.

The deadline for teens to apply for the 2022 Job Prep program is Monday, January 24. Applications can be found at

Businesses that would like to learn more about becoming part of the Job Prep program are invited to contact Job Prep Program Director Nicole Hernandez at or 316-776-8179.



Since 1885, The Greater Wichita YMCA has been volunteer-led and mission driven and consistently empowered healthy lifestyles, strong families, and positive youth development for all in South Central Kansas. Today, we employ more than 1,400 individuals and serve well over 300,000 of our neighbors in Butler, Harvey, Kingman, Reno and Sedgwick Counties. We support a healthy spirit, mind, and body through community development, education and wellness initiatives, youth and family programs, licensed child care and camp, and physical activity. Our more than 190,000 members and the entire community have access to over one million square feet of fitness space across our 10 area branch locations in Andover, El Dorado, Newton and Wichita as well as four seasonal, outdoor water parks (Andover and Wichita), two indoor/outdoor sports complexes (Andover and Wichita), and Camp Hyde (Viola). Our annual Strong Community Campaign, which funds our free and reduced-cost programs and enables scholarships, grants and income-based member and program pricing for those who qualify, allows us to honor our commitment to serve all, regardless of their ability to pay. Learn more at