Youth Encouraged To Apply Now For Summer Job Program

D'Ann Lawrence White

TAMPA, FL – Summer may seem a long time from now, but Hillsborough County youth can start applying now for the CareerSource Tampa Bay’s 2021 Summer Job Connection. The application window opens on Monday, Jan. 4, and will close on Friday, March 12.

CareerSource Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough County School District and the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners invite youth in Hillsborough County, ages 16 to 24, to participate in the Summer Job Connection 2021, which is now in the third year.

SJC will expand its opportunities to 1,000 youth through part-time paid work-experience, virtual career exploration and the new youth leadership academy for eligible youth. The program will run from June 14 to July 23.

The SJC 2021 program will include:

  • Six-week paid internship earning $12 per hour for 24 hours per week

  • Four-week Online Career Exploration

  • Six-week Youth Leadership Academy called “Young Leaders of Tomorrow”

For each component, youth will have an opportunity to earn $1,000 to $1,500 for participating and successfully completing the module. Youth will also be expected to participate in a mandatory in-person/virtual, one-day youth summit in June.

Applicants are required to complete a Summer Job Connection 2021 online application.

Applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis as funding is limited. CareerSource Tampa Bay SJC staff will contact applicants to review and discuss their application and potential eligibility for the program.

“Our youth are our future and I want to make sure we embrace them as the future workforce of Tampa Bay,” said John Flanagan, CEO CareerSource Tampa Bay. “Our goal is to introduce and prepare youth for the world of work, let them know about jobs right here in Hillsborough County and give them opportunities to stay in Tampa Bay.”

The program design was a vision created by CareerSource Tampa Bay, met with the full support of the CSTB Board of Directors and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. The Hillsborough County School District is a key program participant as the county’s largest employer and direct connection to youth.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for young people to grow their leadership abilities while attaining part-time work experience over the summer months,” said Superintendent of Schools for Hillsborough County Public Schools Addison Davis. “The Summer Job Connection will open students’ eyes to a world of new possibilities along with empowering networking opportunities that will serve them even after graduation.”

Since launching in 2019, the SJC program has provided more than 1,000 low-income and disadvantaged youth with summer work experience and access to career exploration activities, work readiness skills and financial literacy training.

During the SJC 2020, due to the coronavirus, the program did not offer its traditional in-person paid-work-experience program, but instead quickly pivoted the model and launched a virtual career exploration model.

The program provided youth with work readiness training, career exploration opportunities, taught them communication techniques, and the importance of a professional online/social media presence. The program also taught youth life-skills such as budgeting, appearance for job interviews, resume development and soft skills. A total of 496 youth participated in SJC 2020, and more than 100 employers applied.

“The success of this program has been tremendous,” said Jennifer Wilson, CSTB’s youth director who oversees the program. “Overall, we’ve had an approximate 90 percent completion rate over the past two years. Considering this is a first job for most youth in the program, we couldn’t be happier with the program’s outcome.”

Businesses and youth who want to learn more about the program can click here.

Courtesy Career Source Tampa Bay

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch