This summer, more than 400 young men and women in our city were afforded the opportunity to gain skills and experiences to prepare them to pursue their dreams.
These future leaders participated in the inaugural Mayor’s Youth at Work Partnership program that worked with local organizations to provide paid internship opportunities for high schoolers to develop the skills and experience they need to build successful careers.
I remember fondly my first job in my parents’ television repair shop. Whether I was up front with customers meeting their needs or in the back with mom reviewing numbers, I learned valuable skills that benefit me to this day. The experience also instilled in me the value of hard work and inspired me to start my own business.
This program is about more than a summer job. It’s about building career pathways, with opportunities for training, mentorship and experiences that build skills and work ethic. It’s about cultivating talents and building connections with local companies so that when these young people graduate and start looking to start their careers, they can start here in Jacksonville.
Some of the young people involved in the program left with professional certifications that will benefit them in future endeavors. Other participants have been offered jobs that will continue year-round.
As mayor, I aspire for every citizen in every ZIP code to have the opportunities to succeed and pursue his or her goals. By investing in our youth with programs like MYAWP, my administration will continue efforts to ensure that there are resources available for every young person in our community.