05/06/17 — Nearly 300 teens apply for city jobs in Goldsboro Summer Youth Employment program

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Nearly 300 teens apply for city jobs in Goldsboro Summer Youth Employment program

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on May 6, 2017 6:03 PM

Close to 300 teenagers applied for the estimated 50 jobs that will become available as part of the new Goldsboro Summer Youth Employment program.

By the May 1 deadline, 294 youth, between the ages of 14 and 18, applied for a variety of jobs that will be available during the summer months.

Some of the applicants, 57, became ineligible for the program after not attending an April 25 mandatory information session, said Michele Wiggins, director of grant management with the Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro.

Remaining are 237 applications, which are currently being reviewed for other eligibility requirements, including Goldsboro residency.

"We were really excited about the turnout and it shows us that it is possible to engage the youth in the community with the right incentives," Wiggins said.

An April 25 mandatory information session at Wayne Community College resulted in the attendance of 310 teenagers, which showed a strong interest in the program that will offer jobs paying between $7.25 to $8.25 an hour.

"We kind of knew there was a lot of interest, but it was verified with the number at the information session," Wiggins said.

The first-of-its-kind Summer Youth Employment Initiative is a collaborative effort of the city of Goldsboro, Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro, Wayne Community College and N.C. Works Career Center.

The program not only offers increased job opportunities for youth but also provides an educational component for work-related skills and ethics needed for success in the workplace.

"We're trying to provide opportunities for individuals that may not have opportunities otherwise," Wiggins said.

Interviews of every eligible applicant will start next week and teens will be contacted by phone and email about the interview, Wiggins said. Unlike other job opportunities, every applicant will be interviewed.

"The interviews are coming up quickly," she said. "We're planning on interviewing up to 200 people. We'll give everyone an interview.

"We feel it's going to be a lot, but we feel it's important."

The interviews will take place during the next week through May 16. Youth coming from low-income households will be given priority in the job-selection process, Wiggins said.

Teens who are offered jobs will be notified by letter, and the letters will be mailed no later than May 22, Wiggins said. The process is being handled by a selection committee that includes representatives from the city, Housing Authority, N.C. Works and WCC.

Teens accepting a job will need to attend a mandatory orientation meeting prior to starting work.

The jobs will be offered during a six-week period, with two employment tracks planned from May 30 through July 7 and July 10 through Aug. 18.

Some of the jobs could include various office duties, including data entry, labor jobs like painting and landscaping, and assisting senior recreation counselors with games and crafts. The jobs will be at different locations in the city and teens will need to have their own transportation to and from the work sites.

Work weeks involve anywhere from 20 to 25 hours, with one day each week dedicated to either an educational session or excursion.

The educational sessions will focus on teaching teens about financial literacy, job readiness and soft skills, including proper communication, attitude, critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. The excursions are planned to include trips that will expose youth to local and state government.

The city of Goldsboro plans to offer 26 jobs. An estimated 30 additional jobs are expected through federally funded programs offered by the Housing Authority and WCC.

The summer youth job program is in its first year and could expand in future years, depending on resources and other factors.

"Although this is a pilot program, I hope everyone can stand proud in the work done so far and will be done through the city of Goldsboro summer youth employment program," said Shycole Simpson-Carter, Goldsboro community relations director. "This pilot program is about the cause (and) youth leadership-building through a grassroots coalition by the community, the private, and the public sector."

Wiggins also anticipates that the program will offer more job opportunities in future years.

"We are trying to start small, gauge interest, show this is a program people are interested in and expand it in years to come," she said.