The Diamond Council of America has launched a new program for high school students, the DCA Jewelry Career Readiness Initiative. The initiative involves licensing high schools to offer classes that incorporate DCA courses, and establishing a referral service that links program graduates with DCA members.
A total of 52 students have graduated from the pilot program of the JCR Initiative, which took place in the 2013/2014 school year. With their permission, these students will be entered into the JCR Initiative Graduate Database. As a permanent referral service, this database can be used by JCR Initiative graduates to seek out employers, or it can be used by DCA members to seek out qualified job candidates.
The JCR Initiative has been the perfect opportunity to open the students’ eyes to the magnitude of opportunities within the jewelry industry. As one JCR Initiative graduate expressed after completing the course, “I never thought about getting into the jewelry industry, but now I am definitely interested.”
The program has proven to be the perfect way to revitalize interest within young people to begin careers within the jewelry industry. By completing the initiative, they have a newfound passion for the jewelry industry and career opportunities no matter what path they choose to pursue after high school.
The DCA is confident of the JCR Initiative’s positive impact on the future of the jewelry industry. The JCR Initiative is an innovative program that eliminates the barrier to entry for young jewelry consumers. The program introduces the participants to multiple aspects of the jewelry industry; from the DCA courses in diamonds, colored gemstones, and jewelry sales; to jewelry industry guest speakers and hands-on projects and experiences. All of these contribute to more educated consumers who are now less intimidated by the jewelry store experience. They now have an interest in the product and are excited about their new knowledge of the industry.
The JCR Initiative has also proven to be a new way to get jewelers involved within their community’s high schools. Incorporating local jewelers into the program through guest speaking opportunities allows the students to develop a relationship with their local jeweler much earlier than the traditional first point of contact, shopping for engagement rings.
The JCR Initiative is a groundbreaking way to increase interest for the jewelry industry within young people. Terry W. Chandler, DCA President and CEO, stated he feels the JCR Initiative “will help to ensure the future of our industry” due to its ability to spark interest in young people, creating a fresh and new flow of sales professionals.
For more about DCA and its education program, visit www.diamondcouncil.org