Career Source of Tampa Bay partnered with Hillsborough County Schools and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners to launch a paid Summer Youth Employment Program entitled, Young Talent Tampa Bay-Summer Job Connection.
“We’re trying to impart what soft skills they may need so they can later on grow to be good, young, well-developed adults in the workforce,” explained Hector Huertas, Career Specialist for Career Source Tampa Bay.
This investment in this community’s youth provided students with employment opportunities that included both educational and workforce skill building to enhance each student’s future workplace success.
“I chose to work at the furniture project department because I’m trying to go to the Air Force and I think it will better educate me on repairing parts,” said Terrance Holland. The East Bay High School sophomore learned the skills needed to repair damaged desks and chairs.
“Some of the students are shadowing our custodians so they’re working one-on-one with them to get the school into the needed repairs they have to have for the start of school,” explained Harlan Ware, Manager for HCPS Furniture Repair.
Other youth worked in administrative jobs or with departments such as furniture repair and landscaping—providing our students an opportunity to positively work, engage, learn and develop their employability skills as they earn a paycheck during the summer months.
“This will help me later in life. I will know to be on time to work, do my job—don’t just sit around and be lazy—put my all into it, come back the next day and do the same thing,” said Marvin Velasquez. The senior at Tampa Bay Technical High School is one of the students who helped district landscaping staff throughout the summer.
The realization of this project was reliant upon the partnership between local government, private industry, and education. The youth participants were hired as employees of CareerSource and be placed in positions within local government, private, and nonprofit industries.
The School District recruited and matched approximately 100 youth to multiple sites throughout the county based on the student’s employment interests, certifications, and completed coursework. All youth were paid $11 an hour and work 24 hours per week for the duration of the 6-week program.
“I’m very grateful. I’ll have money in my pocket to buy clothes for next year,” said a smiling Holland.
Career Source of Tampa Bay also hired educators as employment counselors and job coaches to provide students with pre-employment workshops, ongoing employment skill based training and support structures at each worksite to improve each youth’s ability to be successful in future workplace, college, and/or career training environments.
“This is just a win-win situation. If we don’t start steering youth in the right direction now, we’ll pay for it later,” Ware said. “Everybody benefits from it. The students benefit by learning responsibility and earning a wage. The district benefits by having some assistance to help us with much needed tasks.”
Learn more about Career Source of Tampa Bay at CareerSourceTampaBay.com
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