Who wouldn’t want to spend the summer months sleeping until noon, and the rest of the day scouring the malls for the latest Hip Hop fashion or hanging out at the park shooting hoops?
Unfortunately, many youth, whether they want to or not, will need to use their summer more productively by working. And now is the time to start looking. At a time when budget cuts are eliminating subsidized student work programs and older adults are filling low-skill positions once left to youth, local community organizations are providing relevant skills, career counseling and work experience for in- and out-of-school youth.
“At Hire LA’s Youth, we recruit businesses to provide internships for young people,” said Maria Nieto, director of education and work force development. “At the same time, we’re recruiting young people who want to work. We need them to be ready, ready, ready when employers start hiring. That’s why we conduct the Job Readiness workshops in February and March.”
“We cover the basics, like workplace dress code, being on time, interview questions and résumés. When they return a week later, we critique their résumés, job applications and conduct mock interviews.
Students can enroll and register at HireLaYouth.com,” said Nieto.
On Friday, May 10, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the City Council and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce will present Hire LA’s 7th annual employer engagement breakfast, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The breakfast is open to organizations that support the program through sponsorships or providing jobs to youth. This summer an estimated 5,000-6,000 positions are expected to be available.
For additional information, contact Maria Nieto at (213) 580-7599.
“Programs vary in length. Some are short-term, others last longer,” said Louis Lewis, program coordinator for Employment Access at AADAP Inc., a youth employment organization on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. “Our year-round youth programs are for low-income 17-21 year olds who live within Los Angeles County. We provide bus passes, clothing and up to 150 hours of internship at $8 an hour. This program runs from July to June of the following year.”
Get organized, these employment coaches say. Develop a two-pronged attack to finding employment. The first option, of course, is paid employment. But for those whose main goal is to gain work experience, consider volunteer programs, like hospitals, which are known for providing youth with work experience in healthcare.
Summer youth employment programs typically last three to four months, said Lewis. He said once they “know the amount and the city’s stipulations for these jobs, we try to recruit from the year-round program; but students can call in and be placed on our waiting list.”
Job hunting can be compared to an obstacle course, while some barriers are clearly seen, others may come as a surprise derailing the best laid plans. According to LAUSD’s website, “work permits are a privilege, and not a right, and poor attendance and grades could put a student on probation until improvements are made.” If there’s a problem, it’s best to find out sooner rather than later.
Another obstacle to employment can be résumés, cover letters, and filling out job applications, which are standard fare for job-seekers.
The WorkSource System, also known as YouthSource, is a collection of 13 agencies that provide 16 to 21-year-olds with supportive services to overcome employment barriers. Call (800) For-A-Job for the agency in your area.
In general and depending on where an agency’s funding comes from and how much is received, youth 14 to 21 (or 24 in some cases), who have or obtain a work permit, are eligible to participate.
Below find information on additional organizations with summer youth employment programs.
The city of Compton began its interest list April 1. Young people ages 14-21 must go to the city’s Career Link Employment Training Center located at 700 N. Bullis Road and sign up. The office is open weekdays from 7 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Youth living in one of nine cities–Carson, El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hermosa, Lawndale, Lennox, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, can contact the One-Stop center in their cities to get on the wait list for the summer program. Typically this program serves 14-24 year olds. The centers are: Beach Cities South Bay One-Stop Business and Career Center, 1611 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach, (310) 792-1300; Carson/South Bay One-Stop Business and Career Center, 3 Civic Plaza Drive at 801 E. Carson St., Carson, (310) 952-1762; Gardena/South Bay One-Stop Business and Career Center, 16801 S. Western Ave., Gardena, (310) 217-9579; Inglewood/South Bay One-Stop Business and Career Center, 110 S. La Brea Ave., Inglewood, (310) 680-3700; Hawthorne Teen/Youth Services, 3901 El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne, (310) 970-7001.
Jobs for Kids, operated by Holman United Methodist Community Development Corporation will employ 27 to 30 youth ages 14 (going into 10th grade) to 18 years. The program operates from June 17 to Aug. 2, and the deadline for youth to apply is April 26. Call (323) 731-0140. Open to youth at all income levels.
The key to successful summer employment is to stay motivated and never quit. And who knows, there just might be that fashion merchandising job, or that parks and recreation position where you can spend lunch breaks slamming down dunks.
Federal employment. Students in high school through post-graduate school as well as recent graduates can begin their career in the Federal government or explore employment options through the Pathways Internship Program. The Internship program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). Available jobs can be found at www.usajobs.gov/studentsandgrads.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) offers internship opportunities in its eight bureaus, the Office of the Secretary and DOI University. For detail, visit the web site: www.doi.gov/whatwedo/youth/Student-Internship-Opportunities.cfm.
Student Conservation Association (SCA) is seeking qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire high school students for the summer. SCA is America’s number one Conservation Service Organization. Visit MySCA to Login or Sign-up. Create a profile, complete the basic application and then select the leader application when prompted. Please be sure to upload your cover letter, resume and three references.
Once your application is complete, please email email@example.com with the position of interest listed in the subject line so we may review your application.
Your business is your job. Youth who can not find a summer job might consider creating their own job through entrepreneurship. The Los Angeles Urban League has joined forces with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Greater Los Angeles and Los Angeles Southwest College to host the Biz Institute Youth Entrepreneurship Summer Camp from June 17-July 19. Young people ages 13-18 will learn how to turn an idea or hobby into a profitable business. May 15 is the deadline to apply. The cost is $300 per person. For details, contact Rhonda Santifer at (323) 299-9660 ext. 2209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.