Who doesn’t remember their first summer job? Whether it was flipping burgers or picking tobacco, the memories of that first experience of having a boss and duties to perform stick in our minds–and so does the experience of receiving that first paycheck that you actually earned by your own efforts.
Some 300 low-income teens will have jobs this summer, thanks to the Eastern Workforce Investment Board’s Summer Youth Employment program. Young people apply for the program and are interviewed, just as for any other job. They receive coaching on how to succeed in the workplace–how to behave, what to wear, safety considerations, and what’s expected of them.
Then they’re deployed all over southeastern Connecticut, growing vegetables, doing office work, landscaping, working in stores and restaurants, and more. For many, it will be the first time they have ever worked and earned money of their own–and for many, what they earn will help to support their families.
But what they get out of the program is more than a paycheck. A summer job is an important step on the road to adulthood, and teens in the Summer Youth Employment program learn much more than how to run a register or maintain files. They’re learning about being part of a team, taking direction, being held accountable for their work, and being responsible to themselves and others. Those are lessons that will serve them well throughout their lives, both at work and at home.
We’re proud to have supported summer youth employment in many communities since 2012. Here’s to the next generation of the American workforce–working this summer in stores, nonprofits, farms, and restaurants throughout our communities. Welcome to the world of work!