Hey local businesses: Here’s your chance to give ‘meaningful work experience’ to the city’s youth

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s Parks & Recreation’s Youth Opportunities Office is seeking locally based businesses as employers for its 2019 Summer Youth Employment Program.

As a participating employer, organizations agree to provide a local young person with a meaningful, paid summer work experience. In 2018, SYEP employed 105 youth across city agencies and private businesses.

City leadership has tasked YOO to grow participation to 200 by 2022, but that will require increased participation from local businesses. Interested employers should complete the online request form no later than Feb. 26, according to a news release from the city.

SYEP is open to Virginia Beach residents, ages 16 to 21, and runs from June 17 to Aug. 9, 2019.

Participants will earn at least $7.80 per hour, working a minimum of 27-35 hours per week during the seven-week program. Applicants will be screened, interviewed and matched with prospective employers by SYEP staff. Workplace readiness and financial literacy training are also provided during the orientation and throughout the entire program.

“We have been fortunate to participate in the Virginia Beach Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) since 2012,” said Juleen Balance of the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center. “The SYEP program has given us the opportunity to access a viable teen workforce while exposing teens to the animal sheltering and veterinary field. The program offers youth the chance to explore different career paths in the companion animal field and teaches valuable workplace and life skills. The program coordinators prepare the youth for work prior to their first day on the job and coaches evaluate the students throughout the program. The SYEP program has been valuable to our organization; we have met some inspiring young adults, trained them to use real life skills and benefitted from diversified workforce. We will continue to welcome SYEP youth into our organization and recommend other organizations to participate in this win-win opportunity.”

Participation as an employer in SYEP offers a wealth of benefits to the participating employers, such as:

  • The ability to provide youth employees with a quality work experience.
  • Recruitment, eligibility, and placement process facilitated by SYEP program staff through an extensive and strategic on-boarding process.
  • Support from SYEP program staff for both supervisors and youth.
  • Seven-weeks of having another employee available to help meet business goals and execute tasks.

Expectations of potential employment partners include:

  • Worksite must be located in Virginia Beach.
  • Provide productive and significant work assignments for youth to develop responsible work habits, basic job skills, an awareness of workplace expectations, and the chance to explore career interests.
  • Provide on the job training and worksite orientation.
  • Offer youth employees a minimum of 27-35 hours a week for seven weeks for at least $7.80 or $8.30 per hour to youth participants.
  • Assign work site supervisor(s) who will serve as a positive mentor.

For additional information on becoming an SYEP employer, please visit VBgov.com/SYEP or contact Andrea Holloman at 757-385-0432, email SYEP@vbgov.com.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.