Students participating in WEST's PIE Program (Positive Relationships + Image Enhancement = Employment) are equipped with skills that place them on a pathway to successful futures. The PIE program provides students with a toolkit and other resources to build their confidence and increase their value to employers. Participants will be provided with a platform that prepares them for the future through an in–depth skills training curriculum. PIE also connects students to a network of mentors and other professionals for support during their job search journey. WEST tracks the student's progress during and after the PIE program experience using an evaluation instrument such as a scorecard. WEST certifies students that successfully complete the PIE program.
Research has shown that many students are not prepared to enter the work force after they graduate. The need for strengthening life skills to make them attractive to potential employers is widely known. Unemployment for "millennials" – at 17% – is higher than any other working age group. College job–placement ratings are at all–time lows. The challenge of finding a job after graduation is greater now than it's ever been. For example, 30% of Virginia college students who graduated in 2013 are now only in part–time employment and 20% are not working at all. According to Karen Klein of Business Week, "Rising youth unemployment only makes more important the need for college students to focus on their inner skills. Energy, personality, and drive will make them stand out competitively in today's challenging economy.
PIE is a signature Project–Based Interactive Learning Service of M. H. West & Co., Inc. (WEST) designed to enhance and expand the experiences of students as they prepare for the work force. PIE provides a suite of training programs with an end–goal of reducing the time between graduation and employment. PIE represents a Quick Reference to Open Up Employment Opportunities for students once they transition from college life. The tenets of PIE are to Help Students Build and Use Their Networks, Empower Students to Create an Image that Wows Employers and Expose Students to Diverse Employment Possibilities.