Campaign aims to place 900 local teens in summer jobs

Western Mass News Photo

While it may have not felt like it today, summer is on it's way.

On Friday, a campaign to land hundreds of jobs for western Massachusetts youth kicked off.

Finding a job is tough, and when you're just starting out it can be even harder to building your resume. "I think it’s important to give younger kids a job because then they can build up the experience, they can learn the ropes of getting a job," said Nayia Bell. That’s why the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County is trying to give teens a leg up. "The earlier in life you can become employed, have a work experience, the better off you’re going to be as far as the total earnings for your lifetime," said Kevin Lynn with the Futureworks career center. Western Mass News was told the goal is to place 900 teens in summer jobs.

Participants will also get 15 hours of training so they can walk into a new gig with confidence and the skills they need to succeed. "Employers are looking for soft skills, looking for communication skills, people who can solve problems, work together in teams," said Kathryn Kirby, with the Youth Employment and Workforce Programs.

In Hampden County, more than 27,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are looking for a job.

The unemployment rate for this age group is about 25 percent while the national average falls just over 14 percent.

You can look in the want ads, but we are in the modern age, and making personal connections could be the difference in landing a job.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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