Posted on June 23, 2017

Columbus Teens Employed Throughout the City

Columbus teens are employed throughout the city this summer to gain vital work experience, heading towards a Great Future!

It’s 7:45am on a Wednesday, and unlike most 14-year-olds, Sean is ready for his work day in khakis, a plaid button-down shirt, and dress shoes.  He opens the doors to the Jerry Hammond Center for his 5-hour shift with the City of Columbus Department of Human Resources, Division of Citywide Training & Development. He sits down at the front desk, ready for a morning of greeting City of Columbus employees until he takes the COTA bus home.

This summer, Sean and approximately 100 other local youth will be employed in professional environments thanks to the ACHIEVE Summer Youth Employment program in partnership with the City of Columbus, Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus, and the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio.  These teens are placed at organizations where they will gain the vital work experience they need to position themselves for a career-oriented future.  Sean’s peers are placed with organizations including the Office of Mayor Andrew Ginther, the City of Columbus Department of Development, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, Ohio History Connection, and Columbus Metropolitan Library.  In addition to working at their individual sites, teens also have a development day each week where they learn essential work skills and speak with peers about their experiences.

Sean has been a Boys & Girls Club member at our KIPP Club since 2014. After speaking with his Club Director about summer employment, he went through the application process and was placed at his site. Daniel, Director of Programs & Club Operations, shared his excitement for Sean’s coming weeks. “Sean has a knack for being liked and respected by his peers and has an innate ability to lead people. I’m excited to see Sean’s development into an even more effective leader as he progresses through the Summer Youth Employment Program,” he said.

Sean is entering his freshman year this fall and understands that this opportunity is atypical. “I could have worked at Kroger or hung out all summer, but I wanted to work in a more professional environment and see what it’s like,” he said.  Sean’s supervisor, Ric, emphasized Sean’s role in the office. According to Ric, “Sean is face of our department.  He’s the first person everyone sees when they walk in. He helps direct participants to their classrooms, sets up computers for instructors, and does general clerical work like creating certifications for our ethics class.”  Sean hasn’t determined what career path he wants to take, but he is certain that this summer experience is going to help him in the long-term. His sights are set on The Ohio State University or University of Kentucky, and with his early start in the workforce, there are no doubts he is on his way to a Great Future!