Nearly 600 teens and young adults wrapped up their employment through Mayor Brown’s Summer Jobs program last week armed with a variety of skills and experience they acquired over the past six weeks. They’ll also have the benefit of continued education and engagement through the program.
“Being a student, we all know how hard it is to find a job, and I’m glad there is a program out there that helps us not only get money for the summer, but some real life experience in a workplace that we can put on a resume,” said Brittany Ford, who worked at one of the program’s private sector partners, Bank of America.
Youth between the ages of 16 and 21 throughout Duval County were eligible for the program, which placed them in temporary positions lasting six to eight weeks with City of Jacksonville departments, independent authorities, local businesses, and non-profit organizations. Job coaches were assigned to each participant in the program, serving as a liaison between the youth, the program office, and the site supervisor.
The program also offered pre-employment training about topics such as customer service, projecting a professional image, ethics, diversity, and financial awareness. Continued engagement efforts will include seminars on money management, conflict resolution, resume development, and job search/interviewing skills.
“My experience with Bank of America was great this summer,” Ford said. “I have learned so much, from the ins and outs of the banking center and what everyone’s role is, to customer service.”
The program received excellent reviews from employers as well. “JEA’s second year with this program has reaped an abundance of fruit,” reported Pat Sams, program manager for JEA’s Emerging Workforce Strategies, pointing to one of their interns who was invited back next year to further his aspirations of becoming an engineer. The mayor’s recent budget proposal adds resources to expand the Summer Jobs program in 2015. For more information visit coj.net/summerjobs.