Authored by Pat Berckman, Youth Services Director
Thanks to funding received from a Department of Workforce Services, a three year grant to Salt Lake County Youth Services launched a youth Summer Employment Program in 2014. Starting with 10 refugee youth in our first year the program has now expanded to 40 Salt Lake County youth. Youth have received job training and began work this week in our third annual summer youth employment program. This program is specifically for refugee youth and offers them a first time paid employment experience with county and partner community agencies. Several of our county agencies are enthusiastic supporters of youth summer employment and have expanded the program to include other local neighborhood youth. Each agency assigns a supervisor to mentor our participants and ongoing case management to ensure their success is available. Youth learn job skills and have training opportunities throughout the eight week summer program which began on June 13.
Thanks to the cooperation of many county and community organizations these youth will receive a professional work experience and learn valuable job skills. During the 8 week program youth will receive additional training in financial literacy and career development. Several youth from last year have returned for a second year and have been promoted to serve as mentors for new youth.
Summer is a critical time for youth and for many young Americans it is their first employment experience. Summer employment opportunities with critical supports have been shown to divert youth from criminal involvement and reduce overall violence. They offer youth a first exposure to the workplace. Sharing this valuable experience with our Salt Lake county youth refugee population enhances their experience as new residents of the US and their success in their future education and employment. Youth Services is proud to be the sponsor of this important and exciting summer program!
For more information call 385-468-4500.