STL Youth Jobs Summer Employment Program Kicks Off

Day 1 On The Job!

Last week marked the first week of summer employment for many of the STL Youth Jobs participants. Thanks to generous support, over 700 youth will be employed this summer – the highest number yet! Over the coming weeks, youth will be employed within various companies across St. Louis.

A Time for Firsts

For many youth, this summer marks their first job ever. STL Youth Jobs provides each participant with training in job readiness and financial literacy prior to the start of their first day of work, ensuring they have the essential skills needed for a successful summer in the workforce. Seminars on navigating coworker relationships, improving communication, how to dress in a professional work environment and understanding the core components of budgeting and money management are just a few of the focal points of these critical sessions.

“I learned to communicate more with my supervisor, be more involved with my coworkers and to be at least 15 minutes early to work.” – Participant

Another crucial element of the program is youth’s connection to a job coach. Each coach is committed to mentoring youth through the summer and matching them with a job that best aligns with their interests and skill set. As the first day of work can raise anxiety, job coaches are there to help ease nerves by answering any questions youth may have and ease transitions by helping youth navigate public transportation for the first time as they head off to work.

What’s New this Summer?

This year, STL Youth Jobs implemented a new program for youth who need additional training and support in navigating challenges at work. The process involves group training with peers and a job coach, designed for workplace conflict resolution and problem-solving techniques.

In addition to the financial education and youth-friendly FREE accounts offered by the STL Youth Jobs credit union partner 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, participants also receive ongoing tips and ideas from their peers. Participants have the opportunity to learn from someone who is in their own shoes or in a similar situation when discussing their finances. Youth are a part of the Young Money Managers program, which empowers youth to establish positive financial habits like saving, budgeting and also day-to-day life skills such as how to pay bills on a fixed income. The Young Money Managers program is in partnership with SLATE and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.

While these changes may seem small, these additional services give youth a stronger sense of stability not only in employment but in their lives.

About STL Youth Jobs

STL Youth Jobs bridges the divide between our region’s youth and the growing skills gap in our workforce. There is a growing number of disengaged youth in our city with an unemployment rate higher than any other working group; and there are employers ready to hire, but they lack access to quality skilled workers. STL Youth Jobs bridges the divide by training our youth to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow through individualized career assessment, financial literacy and job readiness training, employment experience and continuing career support. Research proves that youth employment programs are one of the most effective ways to transform youth outcomes – benefiting our economy and targeted communities  across St. Louis. Learn more about this program at stlyouthjobs.org 

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