Press coverage for Robert and RobertPruitt.Com

Maryland Workforce Development Conference: Raising the Bar 2006


Attendance at the 2006 annual MWDA Workforce Development Conference again met ambitious planning projections, with 728 individuals registered for pre-conference and conference sessions. These figures exceeded 2005 conference levels, which was quite an accomplishment in light of the tight fiscal environment in which many of these organizations operate. Attendees represented workforce investment areas, One-Stop Centers, higher education, K-12 education, TANF, vocational rehabilitation, corrections and various non-profit and community-based human services organizations In addition, 30 exhibitors promoted their latest products and services.

Featured keynote speakers included Trenton Hightower (Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Workforce Development for Virginia’s Community College System), Robert L. Pruitt II (speaker, trainer, author and community activist) and Frank
Lengel of Lengel Vocational Services. This was the second year of the annual “Above the Bar” staff awards which recognized the contributions of one staff member from each WIA and the central office of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Awards were presented to the 14 recipients by DLLR Secretary James D.
Fielder, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary Bernard L. Antkowiak, and MWDA President Karen

Nearly 50 workshop sessions covered topics in the areas of job seeker services, business services, economic and workforce development, education and workforce development, leadership/management/supervision, technology, program planning and management and personal development. In addition, two full-day pre-conference sessions were held on Monday, attracting over 60 participants. One session was designed exclusively for administrative support staff, and focused on managing multiple priorities, dealing with stress and interpersonal communications. The other session examined the nature of thoughts and actions, and taught skills related to influencing and building relationships.

The YO! Baltimore Graduation Ceremony

For Immediate Release
June 14 , 2004

Baltimore MD:

What: The YO! Baltimore Graduation Ceremony

When: Thursday, June 17, 2004, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall
3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore

Description: The Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore Graduation Ceremony gives YO! members a chance to experience the graduation they never had. The youth participating in the graduation came to YO! as high school dropouts wanting to turn their lives around and receive their diplomas. This ceremony honors the achievements of the YO! graduating class of 2004. In addition, YO! will honor its first member to earn a bachelor’s degree, Chanie Carlton who graduated from Randolph Macon College in Virginia, and its second member to earn an associates degree, Ryant Cain.

At this year’s ceremony, 61 YO! members will walk across stage and receive a certificate of achievement. Through the first 3 years and 10 months of Youth Opportunity, 131 members have earned their GEDs and 478 more have either returned to, or remained in, school and earned their high school diplomas for a total of 491. An added 206 members are currently enrolled in college, and 118 YO! members are interning in different companies throughout Baltimore City.

Selected as this year’s keynote speaker, Robert Pruitt specializes in the development of programs that provide youth and young adults an opportunity for personal growth. Other guest speakers include Karen Sitnick, director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

An initiative of the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and multiple workforce partners, YO! Baltimore is a program that offers a broad array of education, work readiness and personal development resources and activities to Empowerment Zone youth and young adults.

Local teen works to hone valuable leadership skills

By Karen D?Abate

Posted Mar. 19, 2003 at 2:00 AM
Updated Dec 17, 2010 at 8:37 AM

What would you say if you were asked, “Who are you and what do you have to offer?”

It’s a tough question, one that York resident Caitlin Crowe graciously responded to at the National Student Leadership Conference this past February.

She said, “I’m a hard-working, dedicated, and caring person and what I have to offer is my time and my heart.”

On Feb. 16, Caitlin, a junior at York High School, traveled solo to Arlington, Va., where she spent 60 hours mastering leadership with 170 participants from across the country.

Caitlin and her roommate, Rosalyn, from Florida, shared a hotel room at the Courthouse Plaza, where they were able to reflect on each day’s life-altering exercises, from the rope course to walks through the woods blindfolded.

Their host, Robert Pruitt, a 35-year-old domestic violence facilitator with the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County in Maryland, challenged students with group initiatives, encouraging them to take risks – both physical and emotional.

Not only did Caitlin climb the rock wall, she embraced the diversity of her peers, discovering the benefits of teamwork.

During one workshop, Pruitt distinguished four dominant personalities: the loud and aggressive lion, the social and community-focused peacock, the caring and quiet koala, and the analytical owl. He drew a chuckle from the students as he imitated key characteristics, inviting students into groupings based on their own personal traits.

Classified as part owl, part koala, Caitlin said, “One of my teachers once described me as a quiet leader. I can take charge, especially in smaller groups of people, but I like to do it peacefully. Everyone has to get along.”

The week’s events included a field trip to the Smithsonian and Holocaust museums, and seminars with two guest speakers: Dr. Paul Lisnek, the executive director of the NSLC, presenting “The Art of Communication and The Art of Negotiation,” and Dr. Sal Corbin presenting “The Psychology of Group Dynamics.”

Leadership skills were tested during a group activity when students were introduced to 10 imaginary acquaintances only to discover that an emergency forced them to choose five of their new friends to survive in a bomb shelter with limited supplies.

“Groups were made up of people from each of the personality traits,” explained Caitlin, “and each of us had something to contribute.”

This wasn’t Caitlin’s first visit to the Washington, D.C. area. On History Day in 1999, she and her seventh-grade partner won the Smithsonian Award for her rotating exhibit depicting the impact of the electron microscope on history.

Her list of extra-curricular activities includes figure skating, substitute and junior coaching, girls cross country team (one of next year’s captains), volunteer math tutor, second-grade classroom volunteer, Club Interact, Prom Committee, National Honor Society, and playing the piano.

Caitlin spent her February break taking risks and trying new things.

“I want to seize every opportunity and help people,” she said. “It was so inspirational, I feel like I should start a leadership club.”

Caitlin was selected for the NSLC by a nomination process. She was able to choose from a variety of conferences and attendance dates, and each participant received a college admission letter of recommendation with an emphasis on leadership exercises and simulations.

Tuiton for the program ranges from $699-$1,799, depending on the course selected. For additional fees students can earn college credits.

Interested candidates should call the National Student Leadership Conference at (800) 994-NSLC or send an e-mail to: