City to hire youth for summer work

Published 9:55 pm Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thirty young people will get the chance to earn some money and develop work skills this summer working in city offices.

The Summer Work Success program will hire 30 disadvantaged youth ages 16 to 21 for nine weeks of work in various city offices.

Participants will gain not only work experience but also work readiness knowledge such as how to complete a résumé and cover letter, dress appropriately for the workplace, manage their earnings using a bank account and more.

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The program has been done in past years but was funded by federal stimulus dollars. This year’s program is locally funded.

“The last two that we’ve done, it’s been a pleasure to see several of the youth secure jobs with other places and also take jobs on with the city,” Leonard Horton, director of the Department of Social Services, said during City Council’s work session this week. “We’re certainly hoping this will be another successful year.”

Applications are due today for the program. Young people ages 16 to 21 who are in foster care or whose families receive food stamps were invited to apply. A total of 700 families had young people who are eligible, Horton said.

After an interview process, the program will run from June 18 to Aug. 17. Participants will work 32 hours a week.

Participating city departments include capital programs and buildings, media and community relations, the city manager’s office, parks and recreation, public utilities, public works, social services and tourism, Horton said.

“It allows the participants to get some knowledge and hands-on experience with various types of jobs within the city,” he said.

In addition to their work, the participants will spend about four hours every other week in classroom instruction, which includes everything from the importance of punctuality to mock interviews.

City Council members praised the program during Wednesday’s meeting.

“It’s very important that the youth know we care about their future,” Councilman Leroy Bennett said.

“When you give youth things to do, that’s where you can train them,” Vice Mayor Charles Brown added.