WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 14, 2011) -- These are tough economic times with jobs becoming harder and harder to come by, especially for teens who may want a summer job.

To better prepare teens for jobs after high school or while attending college to help pay tuition, West Point Child, Youth and School Services of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation instituted the Hired! Program.

The Hired! Program allows teens to work during the summer, be paid and receive training about finding a job, resumé writing, correct dress for job interviews and researching a variety of job requirements.

High school teens ages 15-18 prepare for the workplace by becoming apprentices through actual paid working positions and education.

“Workforce preparation provides youth with opportunities to explore career choices, identify interests and set goals related to the work place,” Marion DeClemente, workforce preparation specialist with the Hired! Program, said. “The Hired! Program offers youths registered with Parent Central meaningful, professionally-managed career-exploration opportunities and valuable paid work experience and training to better equip each participant with the skills needed for a highly competitive job market.”

Teens will need to successfully complete the six workforce preparation trainings and work 15 hours a week for 12 consecutive weeks to receive a $500 stipend from Kansas State University.

Apprentice terms consist of four, 12-week terms repeated on an annual basis. Eligible youths can participate in a maximum of two terms per year for three consecutive years. Apprentices are expected to work 15 hours in a seven-day period while also participating in the Hired! Workforce Preparation and Secondary Education Exploration Workshops. The workshops are provided by the Hired! Program coordinator or the Hired! FMWR Placement site.

The site for the workshops is at Bldg. 500 Washington Road at the Youth Center. Workshops are held once a month from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The next workshop is Aug. 5.

There were 21 youths at the July 7 workshop with a few who are working apprentices.

“I’m working as a maintenance worker at the Five Star Inn,” Michael Buckley said. “I do just about anything that needs to be done such as painting, laundry and fixing light switches. I like it. It’s my first official job.”

Maya Washington is an apprentice at Youth Services and prepared a PowerPoint presentation on Guidelines for Working Teens for the workshop.

“Any task we give her, she completes,” DeClemente said. “She helps teens who were going on trips, made phone calls and filing.”

DeClemente said Washington is learning a lot about public speaking by her presentation and about what it takes to create a presentation using computer software.
Genevieve Stafford works at the Balfour Beatty Communities office, which keeps her busy.

“I help plan for events, manage the website and social media sites such as Facebook,” Stafford said. “I like it, but I was worried about working with children, not the children part, but about interacting with them. Balfour Beatty does many events for children. I also learned about what goes on in the background that goes into planning events.”

To be eligible for the program, youths must be between 15-18 years of age, participate in six workforce-preparation and secondary-education trainings, receive a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and all must have a current Child, Youth and School Services membership and current shot record on file at Youth Services.

Apprentices are eligible for cash awards thorough CYSS and Kansas State University upon completion of a Hired! 12-week program.

The first and second term program is a cash award of $500 each term. Third and fourth term awards are $625 each term and the fifth and sixth term awards are $750 each term.