Summer Jobs for Youth
Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast partnered with the City of Houston in , the Greater Houston Partnership, local school districts, area emplyoyers and youth organizations to support the Hire Houston Youth intitiative and asssit 5,000 youngsters with finding paid jobs during summer 2017.
The job market in the Houston-Galveston region has remained mostly strong in recent years with the unemployment rate holding around 7%, according to ACS 5-year estimates. However, young people have not found it as easy to enter the labor force. Unemployment for young adults age 20-24 is roughly 12%; and for teens ages 16 to 19 that rate rises to almost 24%.
The benefits of unsubsidezed summer jobs to our workforce, businesses, youth and communities are numerous. Young people who are able to obtain and hold summer jobs gain a sense of responsibility and discipline that will serve them well over the course of their studies and careers. Employers have the opportunity to shape their future workforce by guiding young workers in practicing essential workplace skills such as timeliness, communication and problem solving.
Workforce Solutions was excited to work with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on this initiative. As a key component of our work, we hosted a large-scale hiring event at a Workforce Solutions career office on a Saturday morning. The event was designed to match young people with area employers that are eager to support the development of our emerging workforce.
This initiative focused on bringing together young people and employers to help them connect with one another and pursue employment opportunities. Youth participants received resume assistance, job search assistance, on-site interview prep and coaching from staff trained in youth engagement. The event also featured a talk by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner whose administration took a leading role in our partnership. Employers were able to interview young job candidates who had already been prepared for the self-discipline and expectations of employers by attending job readiness seminars prior to the event.
As of June 27, 2017, 745 young people ages 16-24 have found summer jobs through Workforce Solutions. Those numbers continue to rise daily, as all the private employers and community partners provide updated results. This is thanks to the Board's excellent collaborative partnerships with stakeholders, not just from the City of Houston, but all of the surrounding areas as well. At the kickoff event on May 6, 200 young people were interviewed, while another 60 received offers on the spot. In addition, the Board is also coordinating the delivery of paid work experience to 418 students with disabilities in modified work environments for the summer.