Summer jobs prepare youth for future careers

Since 2006, the American Savings Foundation has been the lead funder of youth employment programs for middle-school age youth in New Britain.

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     Summer Youth Employment builds a talent pipeline to help connect youth to career pathways, while building the bridges youth need to gain employability skills is critical for employers and the business of the future.

      Research shows teens that start working early are more likely to continue to work in subsequent years. In addition, cumulative years of work experience during the teen years tend to raise both employability and weekly wages as they move through their 20s. Based on these finding, the American Savings Foundation has been funding summer employment opportunities for youth ages 14 to 18. Over the past 16 years these programs have provided jobs over 3,717 youth and have leveraged over $4.86 million into New Britain.

      The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides career readiness and job experience for youth ages 14 - 18 during a six-week summer program. The New Britain SYEP is conducted through a partnership made up of Pathways/Senderos Center, OIC of New Britain, and the New Britain YWCA.  The program builds pre-employment skills through career readiness training while introducing youth to career paths aligned with their interests.

     The program also aligns with the Career Competency System, adopted by both the New Britain Chamber and New Britain High School to connect youth to career pathways by building a talent pipeline that meets employer needs through paid and unpaid work experience. Youth who participate in the program have shown higher graduate rates (77%) than their peers (73%), and many have been hired by their host worksites at the end of the program.

Since 2006, American Savings Foundation has awarded a total of $1,340,434 to youth employment programs, including nearly $1 million for programs in New Britain.

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Waterbury Summer Youth Employment 

    In Waterbury, the American Savings Foundation has funded Summer Youth Employment Programs provided through Connecticut Junior Republic for 14 years. During that time, more than 560 youth have gained experience in career tracks such as culinary arts, entrepreneurship, horticulture and landscaping, video production, and publishing. The program also provides tutoring, college prep, case management, and academic support.

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