Written by: John Brandon, President of MCCOY
I realize that the school year is only 6-7 weeks along, but it is not too soon to talk about an important issue for young people in our community: summer employment. While many youth organizations don’t have the budget to actually hire youth (though some do and provide a great work experience for youth!), many youth serving agencies are in a position to help young people who participate in their programs develop the workplace skills that are absolutely necessary for success in the workplace, not only now, but throughout their work career.
Youth programs are the places where young people learn how to work with others, solve problems, develop critical thinking and analysis, communicate through writing and speaking, take on leadership roles, and develop responsibility. Employers will say “I can teach somebody how to do the job but I can’t teach them to have the attitudes and behaviors which will help them keep it.” That’s what youth programs do best.
If we think of summer jobs as a part of a broader strategy for addressing poverty, as the Brookings Institute suggests in an article entitled “Expanding Summer Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Youth”, we can see that summer employment not only provides a job and money in the pocket, it also serves as an encouragement to do well in school, increases individual maturity, and decreases negative behaviors. There is even some evidence that developing workplace skills actually increases college completion rates! That’s a good thing for youth and for our community.
These are all signs that point to the importance of a strong youth development sector in our community that prepares youth for education, work, life, and community involvement. MCCOY is all about making sure that sector is in place for the young people of our community. We’re glad you are working with us!