Does your community have a School-to-Career/Connecting Activities program that helps students find jobs and internships? Have you been asked to consider offering a job or internship to local youth? Are you wondering if hiring youth might be a good step for your business or organization? A job or internship is a great experience for youth, helping them to develop skills, start to build a resume, and have an opportunity to support a local business or organization and support their community. But how will this step support you and your organizational goals?
Seven good reasons to consider hiring a youth employee or intern:
1.) Social Networking at its best…. Youth employees make great ambassadors for your company or organization. Through word-of-mouth, they spread goodwill about your company or organization through their family, friends, teachers and classmates.
2.) Customer Service…. Your customers appreciate the energy that youth employees offer in your business or organization – youth can provide great customer service in retail stores, restaurants, medical and veterinarian offices, parks, museums, city halls, tourism offices, chamber of commerce offices and more.
3.) Projects! How often do you wish you could focus attention on a special project that needs to be done? An interesting project can make a good learning experience for a semester-long or year-long internship.
4.) A Boost to Your Own Productivity and Creativity. Having an intern can be a boost to your own creativity and productivity. As you engage in your own work, you can guide your intern through the process and assign them some supporting tasks. You often learn the most when you are teaching others, and as you teach a youth about your work, you will be surprised at how much you discover or re-discover about your own work.
5.) Youth Voice. Youth employees can lend youth voice to your business or organization, allowing you and your staff to informally gather ideas and perspectives that help you shape your marketing, merchandising, production and programming initiatives.
6.) Connecting with Your Community. Hiring youth through a job or internship program in your city or town helps you to connect with the local school, Chamber of Commerce, School to Career program or other networks, and to enhance the image of your company or organization within the community.
7.) Investing in Your Industry. By providing first jobs in your industry, you are helping youth to learn about career options and you are investing in the future of your industry locally and beyond.
When you hire youth through a local School-to-Career/Connecting Activities job or internship program, you are assured that the program staff will provide orientation to the youth, providing coaching in key communication skills, customer service skills and other workplace skills. Youth employment programs in Massachusetts use the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan to provide structure, outline key skills and provide feedback to students to ensure a successful work experience.