Governor's Summer Job Hunt Kicks Off 39th Year of Helping Young People Understand the World of Work
Each year, Colorado’s longest running and most successful youth employment program helps tens of thousands of young people prepare for the uncharted territory of a first summer job. Since 1981, the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt program has connected high school and college students with Colorado employers willing to give them a chance to learn, put skills to use and see firsthand how a business operates.
“The program has a proven track record,” says Department of Labor and Employment Executive Director Joe Barela. “The Governor’s Summer Job Hunt has assisted more than 600,000 young people in the last three decades. Last summer, professionals at Workforce Centers across Colorado served more than 26,300 high school and college students. They are ready to work with another generation of young job seekers this year.”
As much as it is an employment program, with a wealth of job openings geared toward youth, the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt is also a training program. Workforce Center staff know that getting a summer job takes initiative but getting the job is only half the story.
There are a lot of things a young person needs to learn in order to be successful and the program provides assistance in résumé writing, interviewing skills and job search strategies to help gain a competitive edge in their job hunt. The commitment is to teach the youngest job seekers how to be successful, how to establish a solid work ethic and how to build the groundwork to their future careers.
Community-minded businesses are the real lifeblood of the program. “The best employers understand that giving a young person a summer job is an investment in tomorrow’s workforce,” Barela says. “It’s one thing to tell young people the value of knowing how to spell or do simple math, but it’s something else for them to recognize how important it is to get it right when they’re preparing a letter for work or having to make change. It makes the classroom learning real.”
Employers can’t teach their summer job workers everything, of course, but opening the door to the world of work can be a valuable companion piece to what they’ve learned in school. It adds a unique element to the mix not usually found in a classroom.
A summer job helps a young person prepare for the challenges they will face in the years ahead. It is an experience that gives young people a chance to apply classroom and textbook learning to real-world situations.
For young people who are comfortable in marketing themselves to employers or want to do a self-directed job search, Workforce Centers offer an online job bank called Connecting Colorado. Registration at the website is quick and easy to use and Connecting Colorado has a listing of job opportunities for all job seekers including those who are making their first foray into the job market.
For teens who would like some help in their job search and for employers who would like more information about the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt, staff at Colorado Workforce Center are ready to assist. To find the one closest to you and discover the wealth of services available this summer, visit the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt website at colorado.gov/gsjh.