According to the Economic Policy Institute, the summer of 2010 was predicted to be the worst year for young people to land a summer job since the Great Depression.
Teens typically have a difficult time finding jobs during tough economic times because of their lack of experience, but this summer Goodwill’s workforce readiness education program was there to help make them more competitive in the job market.
Dominique Powell is a 17-year-old who has broadened her résumé this summer and is more confident about her work experience thanks to a joint program between Goodwill Industries of Denver and the City and County of Denver.
Powell is one of more than 300 at-risk youth who received intensive job skills training from Goodwill to help them find summer jobs and promote long-term employment in their future, and one of 30 who landed a cream of the crop professional internship.
The City and County of Denver partnered with Goodwill exclusively to help get teens into these summer internships.
This is Powell’s first experience in a formal workplace and she says, “It makes me feel older and more prepared to work in a real-life work environment.”
The George Washington High School graduate recently completed her internship working in the human resources department for First Bank doing a variety of tasks from filing to administering employee application tests. First Bank has been a champion of the program, encouraging other businesses in the area to participate.
Powell is attending Colorado State University this fall and has now changed her major to business because of the experience she’s gotten at the bank.
Goodwill’s Job Readiness Training program develops students’ skills through job-search strategies and professional development, mock interviews with local business and community leaders, and soft skill development, including critical thinking, decision-making, goal setting and taking initiative.
The program provides an intensive week of training for students, like Powell, before helping them move on to job applications and interviews with local businesses already committed to hiring youth in the community. Once they’ve secured the position, Goodwill staff provide case management and coaching throughout the internship.
“When these students come in, you think at first they’re going to be a burden, but they’re very well-coached, and polished by the time they get here,” said Gretchen Morrison, Senior Vice President/Director of HR at First Bank Holding Company. “Now they’re on their way out, and we don’t know what we’re going to do without them.”
Some of the students who have completed Goodwill’s readiness program have turned their summer jobs into permanent positions, like 17-year-old Cleo Clausell.
Clausell’s summer internship with First Bank’s call center has turned into a permanent part-time position with the bank. The experience with Goodwill has taught her to be more proactive about her wants and needs and she says she’s excited that asking for more work actually led to a permanent job.
Clausell is attending University of Northern Colorado – Lowry this fall and is majoring in education.
Not all summer jobs can turn into permanent ones, but the summer intern is receiving workplace confidence that will last a lifetime.
Brea Miller, 17, is a senior at George Washington High School this fall. The Goodwill program has helped give her direction and self-assurance.
“Before I applied, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself,” Miller said. “Now I feel more confident with this work experience under my belt.”
Thanks to First Bank for their support of all of our summer interns!Pin It