Finding a job for the summer is more than a way for young people to earn money to subsidize activities during that period between June and August when school is out and your time belongs to you.
A job can go a long way toward helping youth learn the skills that will benefit them for a lifetime and can even put them on a path toward an exciting career.
In fact, a study commissioned by the Brookings Institute revealed that high school students who work 20 hours per week have higher levels of future economic attainment—earning approximately 20 percent more annually and receiving 10 percent higher hourly wages than those who do not work. For young adults ages 20-24, those who worked at least 13 weeks in the previous year had a 30 percent higher chance of employment than those without any work experience.
The Los Angeles area features a number of private and public programs designed to put young people to work. The city of Los Angeles through its HIRE L.A.’s Youth program provides career exploration opportunities to low-income youth 14 to 24 years old, with specific efforts targeted at foster youth, young peoople from families that receive CalWORKS, those on probation, receiving Gerneral Relief and those who are homeless.
This year, the city expects to hire 15,000 youth as part of its summer jobs offerings.
The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is also working with the city to help prepare 16-24 year olds who are out of school or out of work to obtain employment through the LA Youth at Work program. In addition to connecting participants with employers, the chambers provides young people with two workshops—one that teaches basic jobs skills such as resume writing and interviewing. The next session begins March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at Exposition Park Regional Branch Library.
A second workshop will take participants through mock interviews and send information on those that have finished the workshops to potential employers. There is no guarantee of a job under this program, but interested candidates can visit the website www.layouthatwork.or to get involved. Registration is required. Visit the LA Youth at Work website and look under the heading events.
The County of Los Angeles through its Earn and Learn program will put 14,000 14 to 24 year olds to work for the summer through its Department of Community and Senior Services. Youth in this program will work an averate of 120 hours (including personal development training) at $10 hourly. For more on the jobs, go to website: http://lacoworkforce.css.lacounty.gov/youth-services/.
In addition to government entities, there are other options to explore for summer work. Holman United Methodist Church Community Development Corporation offers its Jobs for Kids proram for youth ages 14-18. This is a competitive program geared toward youth regardless of family income and includes a series of pre-employment training workshops that will be held April 9, 16, 27 and 30. Young people must attend three of the four workshops in order to leave the program with a job-readiness certificate and qualify to apply for one of the jobs offered. The process begins with youth completing an application. Then they are interviewed by program staff. The 40 young people selected will work 120 hours for $10 hourly from June 20 to July 29. In the workshops, they will learn the so-called soft employment skills such as resume building and how to work cooperatively in a work setting.
For information on the Jobs for Kids program call (323) 731-0140 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other options to try include: The American Camping Association (ACA) which features a job center for year round and seasonal jobs at http://www.acacamps.org/staff-professionals/job-center/find-job/seasonal-summer-jobs.
Camp jobs are for those who love the outdoors, hiking, sailing and you must be good with kids. Typically these jobs are available to college students but selected locations do offer positions to high school students.
According to ACA, camp jobs offer valuable skill-building, leadership, training, and enrichment opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else. Regardless of your college major, camp experiences allow you to learn and develop skills that will enhance your job marketability.
The mission of the job website CoolWorks.com is to connect adventurous job seekers with employers. Jobs are listed by state and category such as Conservation Corps jobs, as well as jobs driving, working in the environmental segment, on a farm and garden, in food or veverage service, as a guide or and trip leader, or in hospitality. There are also jobs working on the water, as well s with animals such as fish and horses. There are also positions in lodges and resorts as well as on a or for the National Park Service.
The federal government has an official job site, www.usajobs.gov, that offers a variety of paid and volunteer internships.
If working for someone else does not appeal to you, there are a number of entrepreneurial traing programs available.
As part of its annual Ron Brown Business and Economics Summit, the California Black Chamber of Commerce will hold a half-day youth summit Aug. 27 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, 6101 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles. The program will include speakers who have successfully started a company; workshops that will give young people ages 17-25 information on how to start a business; a chance to work as part of a team to actually create a business plan; as well as an opportunity to win a $1,000 scholarship.
There is no cost to attend the youth summit but interested individuals must register at www.calbcc.org beginning June. 1.
Those interested in applying for the scholarship must submit an application no later than July 25.
To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, youth must be 17-25 years old; be a high school senior graduating in June or a college freshman returning to school in fall; have a 2.0-3.5 grade point average, and include a 500-word essay answering the question “what is an entrepreneur?”; and attend the youth summit.
For additional questions, call (916) 463-0178.