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January 4, 2017 3:47pm

Hire For the Better with SummerWorks

With so many in needs in our world today, it can at times be overwhelming, and difficult to believe that a single person or
business can make a true difference.  But making a positive impact in our city today can be as simple as saying, “You’re Hired.”

SummerWorks is program which seeks seasonal employment for local 16-21 year old youth.  It requires an investment from the business community, but the return on both sides of employment is valuable.  GLI is asking regional businesses to invest in our youth – around $2500 per youth employed plus staff time & attention – so business leaders might well ask… what’s in it for them?

Let’s start with cost-effective labor.  Young first-time job seekers aren’t yet demanding a high hourly wage because they are just beginning to build their skill sets.  But SummerWorks youth are hardly “unskilled”.  By participating in this program, they are self-selecting as ambitious and ready to work. In a day when good workers are willing to show up 5 days in a row are tough to find, motivated youth backed by the KentuckianaWorks mentoring system are a real bargain.

There is also a strong ROI in building our region’s future workforce.  As unemployment falls, the threatening rocks of an insufficient and unprepared workforce are laid bare.  While more technical skills, college degrees and work-ready credentials are critical, the need to develop “soft skills” cannot be ignored.  People entering the workforce must learn how to be good employees; to show up and work hard, interact well with other workers, accept supervision, and deliver quality products and services.  Those skills are not taught in classrooms or homes.  They are only learned in the workplace, and those companies investing in the employment of ambitious young workers are investing in the future of their own workforce.  And that will pay off.

While not financial, there is a ROI in doing the right thing.  Many SummerWorks youth find the program to be a life-changing experience. It separates them from the street and teaches them that they can succeed in life through the world of legitimate work in return for fair pay.  Want evidence? Click here.

Does employment of a SummerWorks youth have a clear ROI?  GLI thinks so, and we strongly encourage local businesses to invest in gainfully employing young people in meaningful roles this summer.  This is an area where we can make a real difference in our local community today.

For more information on SummerWorks, contact Emily Brandon, Program Manager for Global Talent and Workforce Inclusion, 502.625.0071.