United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the North Shore Workforce Investment Board (WIB) are announcing a new partnership today that will provide more than 40 teens from Lynn with critical first-time jobs and workplace skills this summer. United Way is awarding a $50,000 grant to the North Shore WIB to place more than 40 Lynn youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who have not had jobs or have limited work experience in jobs at community-based organizations across the City.
“The future of the workforce is weakened when our young people can’t find jobs,” said Nancy Huntington Stager, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Charitable Giving at Eastern Bank Corporation and Chair of the North Shore WIB Board. “That’s why it is so critically important, and so greatly appreciated, that United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley steps up to support the North Shore WIB’s F1rst Jobs program. With unemployment at a record high for this age group, it’s vitally important that we give these young people early opportunities to build workplace skills that will help them for years to come.”
“When we surveyed more than 2,000 Lynn youth, 42 percent of them told us they would like to be spending their out-of-school time working,” said Michael K. Durkin, President at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Summer jobs provide teens with those first workplace skills that lay the foundation for their future education, training and ultimately, their full-time employment.”
Since the program’s launch last week, over 30 teens have been placed in summer jobs. Organizations employing teens with the United Way funding include the Russian Community Center/New American Center, Lynn Economic Opportunity, Lynn Housing Authority, Lynn YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Lynn, The Food Project, St. Stephen’s Church/Kids in Community and the City of Lynn. The United Way grant will also enable the North Shore WIB to provide youth with work readiness workshops on important aspects of job readiness, including: searching for jobs online, preparing for an interview, meeting an employer, filling out an application, an overview of an entry level resume, and tips for succeeding on the job.
Ann, a 17 year old junior at KIPP Academy Lynn, is enjoying her first paying job as a mentor with Kids in Community (KIC) camp at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. She says, “I wanted a job this summer because it is a good experience to have before going to college, and I wanted to get to know people in Lynn I wouldn’t normally meet.” Ann is originally from Haiti, and says one of the things she likes most about her job is “getting to see how American children live.”
Eric, a 15 year old freshman at Lynn Classical High, has been placed at The Food Project. “Working in the fields, growing food, and giving back to the community- I feel good about myself this summer. If I wasn’t working at The Food Project, I don’t know what I’d be doing- searching for another job or probably just sitting around. We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.”