New Britain and Waterbury
Everyone remembers the importance of their first summer job. It’s a step toward adulthood and independence. It helps you earn money for clothes, books, and college. And it teaches you lessons that you carry forward into your career no matter where the future takes you.
For many local teens, that first work experience comes through summer youth employment programs at area youth agencies. Typically too old for summer camp, but not yet ready for traditional summer jobs, students in these programs are able to develop key workforce readiness skills as part of a rich summer experience. Studies show that students with multiple years of summer work experiences have higher graduation rates than their peers, and students who work during high school earn higher wages later in life.
New Britain and Waterbury
$75,000 Pathways Senderos, OIC of New Britain, YWCA of New Britain/$24,000 Connecticut Junior Republic
American Savings Foundation has provided funding for introductory work experiences for young teens in New Britain since 2006. Fifty-five youth, most ages 14 and 15, will participate in career exploration and build skills to help prepare them for success in the workplace. Three agencies (Pathways/Senderos, Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain (OIC), and the YWCA of New Britain) work together to help youth develop career competencies including communication skills, customer service, problem solving, and job seeking skills. OIC also serves pregnant and parenting teens age 16-18 to help them develop work readiness skills and start on a path toward economic independence.
In Waterbury, approximately 40 youth ages 14-18 will participate in a work-based learning experience over a seven-week period this summer. They receive workforce skills training, and participate in projects to practice the skills they are developing. Students can choose to concentrate in a variety of career areas: culinary arts, entrepreneurship, communications and advertising, and agriculture. Last summer, the entrepreneurship team sold slushies, candies, prepared lunches, and gift baskets, and ran carwashes and bake sales, raising a record $2,500. A portion of the proceeds went to helping one of CJR’s interns, who had been in a car accident. The remainder of the funds went towards field trips for the program.
If you're a Grantee of American Savings Foundation and have seen a positive impact in your initiative since receiving funding, be sure to tell us your story today!