Due to the lobbying efforts of city officials in Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, hundreds of teenagers have been placed in private-sector jobs for the summer.
However, public officials are being faced with even more challenges. They have already lost $1.2 billion in federal stimulus funds intended to employ youths, and many young adults are being removed from their posts to be replaced by unemployed adults.
In an effort to try and reverse this, many cities are hoping to convince companies to hire the younger generation arguing that they have the potential to become future employees.
Karen Sitnick, director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development in Baltimore, which has put 280 kids in positions for companies as a part of their Hire One Youth campaign said, “It’s not being marketed as a social program, but as a workforce opportunity.”
Youth employment numbers are at their lowest since World War II. Only one in four kids between the ages of sixteen and nineteen have a job. Those numbers were even lower among black kids, being only one in six.
Keeping kids out of summer jobs hinders the development of their work ethics, and feel for the working world. Moreover, when kids don’t have that summer job experience, it may eventually become difficult for them to develop careers.
“They are not having the opportunity to develop their work ethic, portfolio and resume,” Linda Harris remarked. Ms. Harris is director of youth policy for an advocacy group for low-income families called CLASP.
With employers preferring adults to teens, the next generation of Americans is being deprived of the skills and experience that they will need in the not-so-distant future, when they are trying to land a full-time job. Many employers are having a difficult time, now, trying to find employees who are on time and customer oriented.
Many mayors, however, have stepped up to the challenge. The Boston mayor’s job office held an event in January imploring employers who had engaged in the event previously to invite a peer and get them to hire a youth, too.
The city founded a website to try and lure in even more private-sector businesses. The website screens applicants and provides companies with the most qualified youth for the job, and a description of what that kid can do for the company.
Employing teens gives them an opportunity to gain some know-how in their field of choice. Take Martina Jean-Louis, 18, who recently graduated from Philadelphia High School and wants to be a pharmacist. With the chance to learn in the medical field, Jean-Louis and teenagers like her may have an added advantage with an employer against others seeking to be hired.
Jean-Louis learned that she could land an internship through Philadelphia’s Save Summer Jobs campaign. “I was more interested because there was more opportunity to work in my career,” she said. Jean-Louis had previously found her own job at the YMCA, but, like many other teens, benefited from her city’s efforts to help her get a job.
This article was written by Jennifer Nobles. Jen is a promoter of good business and solid financial advice. During her time studying finance and through her career, she has developed an expertise in money market funds, Canadian Stock Market bankers' acceptances, flow through shares, gold production, and mining stocks.
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