Application deadline fast approaching for Pima Co. Summer Youth Programs

Application deadline fast approaching for Pima Co. Summer Youth Programs
Pima County Summer Youth Programs (Source: Pima County)

PIMA COUNTY, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Is your teen looking for a job this summer? They might just be able to find what they are looking for in the Pima County Summer Youth Employment Program.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 8, for youth ages 14 to 21 who would like to work or catch up on school credits.

Pima County partners with local agencies to offer job placements for participants. Each session is four to seven weeks long and range from 20 to 40 hours per week, typically. Not all ages are eligible for all programs.

According to a Pima Co. release those who apply must be 14 by June 3, 2019.

Those interested can apply two ways - online at https://summeryouth.pima.gov, or in person by picking up an application a local high school, community center or library. Applicants also may call 724-9639 for more information.

Sponsors of the program are Pima County’s Community Services, Employment and Training Department and ARIZONA@WORK-Pima County.

Deadline to submit a report card and for out-of-school youth to take an assessment is March 29.

"We have the students doing all sorts of stuff ranging from cash handling and basic customer service to kitchen production and general maintenance," Matthew Stringham, park operations manager with Service System Associates explained. "It gives the students the opportunity to observe the full spectrum of what we can offer as a company." The company handles the concessions at Reid Park Zoo and they have been very pleased with results, as having participated as an employer in the internship program for the last five to six years.

Stringham said the internship program has served as a valuable pipeline of future employees. He recommends other employers get on board.

"With the current job market the way it is I would definitely recommend this to any employer looking for a way to get on the leading edge of a new market. It truly gives us a glance at the next pool of employees. Our retention rate has been fantastic and many of the participants send friends and family in to apply giving us an even broader pool of people to interview as possible employees."

Funding levels determine how many youths can participate, generally between 1,100 to 1,300. They learn valuable experience working for several businesses including Pima County, the City of Tucson, the University of Arizona; pay is AZ minimum wage at $11 an hour.

The jobs they perform vary widely, from outdoor labor to clerical to retail. Virtually all industries are represented, including public, private, non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Jobs with Pima County’s Department of Transportation or Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department involve outside manual labor. Applicants for these positions will be placed in a special pool of applicants, which may increase the chances of being selected for a summer job.

Patrick Robles, a senior at Sunnyside High School, spent last summer as an intern in the office of District 2 Pima County Supervisor Ramón Valadez. One of his jobs was to research how to increase engagement with constituents on social media — a perfect fit for someone who already has a keen interest in government, including serving as student body president at his school.

“I loved it!” Robles said of the internship, his second with the county. “I loved the experience of being on the ground and experiencing one-to-one how government operates and how it takes a village to get something accomplished. These experiences aid me to this day.”

The Summer Youth Programs also include basic education, in which young people can earn elective high school credit through learning in math, reading and writing.

Positions are limited, so get that application filled out soon. According to Daphanie Conner, program manager in 2018 they received 3,958 applications.

Program participants are selected based on their applications, grades, assessment scores and work interests as well as available funding, applicant program selections, geographic area, employer/worksite requirements.

Participants attend a one-day “employability skills” workshop, where they learn about good work habits and employer expectations, before they go to work.

For more information, call the Pima County Summer Youth Programs Hotline at 520-724-9639.

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