The Jobs for Youth program grew from supporting the employment of 23 youth in five communities in 1996, to supporting the employment of more than 90 youth (ages 14-21) in 12 communities throughout the state in 2009. Over this time period, more than 1000 youth participated in the program.
The Attorney General's Office contracted with sites to arrange job placements, job skills development training, enrichment activities, and community service projects for local youth during the school year. The Jobs for Youth program offered young people opportunities to develop skills and hold jobs - opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them.
The sites recruited, hired, placed, and supervised youth in an array of public and private sector locations such as health and community centers, arts programs, and city offices. Youth were paid at least minimum wage for all work hours and throughout the year the sites facilitated several enrichment activities such as mock interviews, resume writing instruction, and office etiquette workshops. The youth also participated in and assisted with the organization of a variety of community events and service projects, such as outdoor clean-ups, health workshops, and community art exhibitions. The AGO facilitated two program-wide events: a coordinators' meeting to address administrative issues, allow sites to exchange ideas about best practices, and provide information on a pertinent topics; and an end-of-year event for program participants, coordinators, employers, and other adult supporters.
Past Program Participants
Participants were employed through the City of Boston's Centers for Youth and Families. The goal was to provide employment, hands-on training, safe-havens and adult support. Partnering with local businesses and agencies, Boston Centers for Youth and Families placed young people in a variety of positions, enabling them to learn skills related to entrepreneurship, leadership, and civic responsibility. Placements included local community centers, private businesses, the neighborhood television network, arts programs, and social services agencies.
The Old Colony YMCA Jobs for Youth program provided opportunities for youth to work as operations interns at the YMCA's facilities and after school interns at the housing authority's community centers. The program served teens in the Brockton area enrolled in school or other educational programs. The site provided job opportunities, educational trainings, and recreational activities.
The City of Chelsea Jobs for Youth program employed teens at the Chelsea Public Library and at the Lewis Latimer Society (a group that focuses on civic engagement and the sciences). Teens in the Chelsea program received training on research techniques, resume writing, and interviewing. The teens also attended a variety of field trips to local businesses and organizations.
Holyoke's Jobs for Youth program was administered by the Teen Resource Project of the Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center, which serves youth from downtown Holyoke. The program promoted literacy skills, education, and responsible work behavior. Teens worked as youth readers and literacy aides for the after school program at a local middle school.
The Lawrence Jobs for Youth site was administered by Lawrence Community Works, Inc. Teens and young adults in this program served as assistant instructors in dance, computer, music, fine arts, and drama at the Movement City after-school program. Youth also attended weekly staff meetings and are involved in event planning and curriculum development.
The Lynn Jobs for Youth program was administered by the City of Lynn's Office of Economic and Community Development. The program employed youth in various positions in city offices, after-school programs, and community arts programs. All participating teens also took part in a four-week job-training program at the beginning of the year.
The Methuen Jobs for Youth program provided jobs through the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, Inc., which is the safe-haven in and for the Weed & Seed Site in the city of Methuen. Participating teens provided after-school homework assistance and activities for younger children at the safe haven, organized library events, and assisted in a variety of neighborhood clean-up efforts. Youth also received week-long courses of computer and job skills training.
The New Bedford area Jobs for Youth program targeted out-of-school teens and young adults by providing them with GED classes, job skills training, and job placement assistance through the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth Division of Professional and Continuing Education. The goal of the program was to provide training and support for youth to gain employment and to continue their education. Job placements were made in a variety of local businesses.
The Orange Jobs for Youth program was developed through collaboration among the Town of Orange, the Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, the Department of Social Services, and several community organizations. The Career Center managed the program and placed DSS-involved youth residing in the Town of Orange at worksites in town agencies, the library, the local television network, and nonprofits. Program participants also attended weekly job training workshops, academic support sessions, and tours of local businesses and agencies.
The Springfield Jobs for Youth program was administered through the Caring Health Center. The Health Center provided youth with opportunities to increase their employability, self-esteem, knowledge, and skills in the area of health promotion. Teens were employed as peer health educators. The peer educators participated in and delivered health education information, including violence prevention, to other youth at local community centers. Because this program was based in a health-care facility, teens are exposed to a wide variety of health care and allied professions.
The Taunton Jobs for Youth program was administered through the Taunton Department of Human Services. Teens were assigned to various agencies, including the Boys & Girls Club, city agencies, and housing development community centers. The program's goal was to provide employment and educational opportunities to youth to build skills and future employment capability.
The Worcester Jobs for Youth program was run by Pride Productions, Inc., which seeks to empower youth in the Worcester area through the development of media and technology skills. Teens from all six Worcester high schools worked to develop and produce all aspects of a cable access television show highlighting local youth-focused events. Participants also maintained a website, which serves as a forum of employment information, job-seeking advice, and networking opportunities for other area youth.