Summer is upon us. For most teenagers and young adults that means school is out—no more tests or homework. It’s what many look forward to all year long: three months of pool time and hanging out with friends.
Yet others go a different route and look for a summer job to make some money. The only problem is, summer jobs are disappearing. According to the US Bureau of Labor, only one in 10 of the nation’s teenagers are working. This is sad, considering many young folks, especially those who depend on the job experience and the paycheck for college, are eager to find work.
Things don’t look so bleak in San Diego, thanks to the city council.
“We are showing our commitment to our young people and to our local economy by announcing a renewed focus on our Hire-A-Youth program,” said Councilmember Sherri Lightner.
Workforce will try to build relationships with companies to hire low income youth between 16 and 21 years old. Through the program, these young folks will have access to summer jobs and internship opportunities as well as provides help with job readiness training, resume writing and interview skills.
“This program links our young people with opportunities to gain valuable work experience, and helps us grow our local economy and prepare our future skilled workforce,” said Council President Tony Young.
The city will spend $100,000 from its general fund. Other councilmembers will contribute the remaining money through discretionary funds from their offices.
The Hire-A-Youth program, started by President Barack Obama in 2009, helped more than 3,300 teens and young adults find jobs in San Diego from 2009 to 2011. But finding the funds for 2012 was difficult, in fact, it was in danger of closing, until the council unanimously voted to invest.
“Time and time again, I hear from our local companies that finding skilled workers is the biggest obstacle to expanding their business,” said Lightner. “This will be seed money to create innovative public-private partnerships designed to connect our teens and young adults with local companies looking for employees and looking to make a difference.”
“Progressive cities that make a commitment to invest in their future workforce and youth are the pipeline for building a globally competitive workforce,” said Nathaniel Buggs, interim president and CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “The city of San Diego has displayed sound economic leadership by investing in opportunities to provide youth with career readiness and job training.”