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Franklin County Summer Employment Programming to Serve 1,540 Youth

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Contact: :Marty Homan, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-5273
Hanna Greer, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-5848
Lance Porter, Franklin County Department of Job & Family Services, 614/233-2105

On Tuesday, the Franklin County Commissioners approved the first of a pair of companion agreements to fund summer youth employment programs. The County’s total investment will be approximately $5.1 million dollars and aims to employ 1,540 youth and young adults between the ages 14-24 from throughout Franklin County.

“Our summer employment programs give young people the opportunity to explore career possibilities,” said Commission President Marilyn Brown. “They will be exposed to real-world work situations and gain valuable soft skills that will translate to every aspect of their academic and professional lives.”

Commissioners approved a $1.1 million agreement between the Franklin County Department of Job & Family Services (FCDJFS) and the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC) for the 2014 S.O.A.R. Hire! Program on Tuesday. COWIC intends to subcontract with the following community partners to serve up to 440 youth: Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, Henkels & McCoy, MCS- Touch and Wright Choice. Job assignments will be in the following fields: healthcare, customer service, library assistance, STEM work experience, childcare, digital marketing, recreation, office/clerical, and data entry.

“Getting a good job as an adult begins with understanding the work world as a youngster,” Commissioner Paula Brooks said. “I am very proud that 440 youth from our community will get an opportunity to learn and earn, again this summer, as we commissioners once more partner with COWIC and the private sector to prepare a good economic future for our next generation! Also, alongside our Franklin County Job and Family Services Department and additional community partners, we look forward to adding 1000 more youth opportunities.”

The second and larger portion of the county’s summer youth employment program is the Franklin County Summer YouthWorks Program, which will utilize $4 million and employ up to 1100 youth, is slated for approval by the commissioners in early May. Community partners administering the YouthWorks program include the Columbus Urban League, Godman Guild, Henkels & McCoy, St. Stephen’s Community House, and Tech Corps, Inc. Types of work assignments include: office/clerical, childcare, web design, public relations/marketing, healthcare, hospitality/retail service, recreation, maintenance and landscaping.

“Working during the summer – whether it’s mowing grass or making copies – is a rite of passage for many youth,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “They may not realize it now, but earning that summer paycheck is providing them with excellent work experience so that when they’re ready to enter the workforce as an adult, they have developed some of the necessary skills to be successful and are confident in their abilities.”

Participants in both programs will be paid $10/hour. Programs begin in May and are available through October. Participating youth will work an average of 25 hours per week. For more information about the S.O.A.R. Hire! Program, parents, youth and adults can call COWIC at 614-559-5052. Information about the Franklin County YouthWorks Program can be obtained by calling 614-212-1820.

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