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Summer employment critical to high school students

Baltimore - Landing a summer job is a rite of passage for many high school students.

Whether it's part-time or seasonal, organizations keep teenagers busy during summer vacation while helping them earn a paycheck.

Last month, Governor Hogan committed $1 million in state funding to provide summer job opportunities for Baltimore City youth.

Funding was allocated to the Youth Works and Hire One Youth programs through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Through YouthWorks, DHCD hired two student interns to work at our office in Baltimore City.  YouthWorks matches young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to five-week work experiences with private sector, nonprofit and government employers.

"As a national leader in affordable housing and community development, we are always hiring people that will challenge the status quo, effectively communicate ideas and implement efficient housing solutions for Maryland citizens," said Amy Kipersztok, recruiting manager for DHCD's office of human resources. "Through YouthWorks, we can show our young people the value of coming to work and knowing that what they do makes a difference in the community."

Employment positions are targeted based on the students' career interests. Employers are encouraged to emphasize effective work behaviors and promote financial literacy for all participants.

In addition to providing administrative support, YouthWorks students are assisting DHCD staff with a project under the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization. They are helping gather demographic census data to build a portfolio for a new region receiving  grant projects in the state.

"We provide a great learning opportunity for students who want to gain skills in an office environment," said Jennine Auerbach, YouthWorks supervisor and director of DHCD's office of administration and policy. "From learning time consequences of being late to filling out timesheets - it's the little but important things they learn that matter."

This week, Kipersztok and recruiting manager Alicia Townsend gave a presentation about DHCD's programs and hosted a career ready workshop for the students.

"Gaining work experience at a young age is very rewarding," added Kipersztock. "This program is every bit as meaningful for us too, because we get to learn as much from our student interns as they do from us."
The YouthWorks slogan "Summer Jobs Launch Careers" describes the lasting effect that a productive summer job can have on a young person. The program will operate until August 14, 2015.

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