The Franklin County Commissioners today kicked off the beginning of their yearly Summer Youth Success Program for Franklin County young people aged 5-24. The program represents a nearly $13 million investment in summer camps and job training and workforce experiences for almost 5,000 low-income youth in our community. Children 5 to 13 years-old can attend free summer day camps, and young people 14 to 24 years-old will participate in workforce readiness and work placement programs.
“Every young person needs constructive activities through the summer months,” said Board of Commissioners President, John O’Grady. “Our summer camps give kids the opportunity to continue to grow and develop even though school’s out, and the summer work program gives young men and women valuable experience in the workplace.”
In all, 2,472 children who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will attend day camps for ten weeks this summer, which are designed to foster physical and social-emotional development, helping to mitigate the impact of summer learning loss and providing an opportunity to explore new skills and interests. The camps will be taking place at 70 separate sites throughout Franklin County, and are run by 23 different providers such as the Boys & Girls Club, Central Community House, YWCA, and YMCA.
“Whether it’s summer camp or job training and placement, programs like this are vital to helping thousands of young people stay on track over the summer and get a good start on the next year,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “In this case, nearly 5,000 kids will get to experience new things through Summer Success, find new friends and mentors, and explore what they may want to do for a career.”
The work experience component of the Summer Youth Success program provides training on workplace etiquette, interview and resume tips, financial literacy, and on-the-job experience. Work placements range from cultivating urban gardens to building websites for real clients, and from interning in county government offices to helping to develop business plans at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. A total of 2,385 TANF-eligible young adults will be enrolled in ten different workforce experience programs at dozens of locations across the county. Like the summer camps, these opportunities are funded through contracts with County Job and Family Services. Providers include the Columbus Literacy Council, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, the Columbus Urban League, and the Godman Guild.
“Summer can be a wonderful time,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce. “But it’s also a time of year when young people can get in trouble or not make the best use of their time. The Summer Youth Success program provides excellent opportunities that will have real, positive, lasting effects on some of our community’s youth throughout their lives.”
Summer Youth Success program activities are beginning this week throughout Franklin County, and Franklin County Administrator Kenneth Wilson will be delivering remarks on Thursday at graduation from the Columbus Urban League’s Work Readiness Boot Camp. The 200 participants in this program have spent five days participating in workplace readiness training, leadership development, one-on-one coaching, and enrichment activities, including recreation supervised by members of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. The event is open to the public and will be held at the Ohio Union at 1739 N. High St. at 2:30 pm.
For more information about the Summer Youth Success Program, including about how to participate, visit commissioners.franklincountyohio.gov.