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School's Out; Summer Work Begins With YouthWorks
DAYTON -- Some of the students just got out of school this week, but they don't get a break. They started their Job Readiness Training for an the eight week YouthWorks program.
For Ninth grader Destiny Pettus, it's not too early to start thinking about her future.
"I'm thinking about doing cosmetology," she said.
Pettus is one of 2,000 YouthWorks students. The program gives them a paycheck and real work experience.
"Could be insurance companies or companies that provide personal services," said Montgomery County administrator Joe Tuss. "We are talking about nursing, daycare landscaping firms. "We're talking about firms with companies that have food outlets, companies that are on the manufacturing or production side."
These students start their first day on the job Monday morning, but before they do that, they have to complete a couple days of training.
"Learning about what you're supposed to wear, your appearance, how you're supposed to address your boss," said Pettus.
"Their generations they took jobs they stayed in for 30 years. We know that these generations are not doing that anymore so we want to make sure that we have widened their skill set so they can tap into other opportunities as they continue throughout their career," said Coordinator of special projects and youth activities for YouthWorks Rocky Rockhold.
"It's experience, this is my first time working. Having them do something like this gets you ready for the next level," said Pettus.
"Work experience is one of the best ways to really try and understand or get a sense for what it is you may be good at," said Tuss. "What it is you like to do and also what it is you thought you might like to do but once you do it you realize it's not for you."
"A lot of youth don't have positive work role models in their lives so this is the first experience they get to have the opportunity to know what it means get up on time, to set contingency plans to make sure they are moving forward in their development to benefit the entire family," said Rockhold. "Some families have had hardships and they need this young person to be out working. They need them to be gathering those skills not only for the future of the youth but the entire family."
"She's going to have to have job skills and this is going to be good for resumes for future jobs," said grandmother Carolyn Fannin. "She's probably looking forward to making our own money so she can buy her own school clothes this year."
"It's great because they don't want to see me every day," said Pettus about her parents. "They want me to stop asking for stuff when I can go get it for myself."
The students will work 20 hours a week at minimum wage.
There are about 450 employers participating but the funding will come from the YouthWorks budget.
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