THE BELMONT County Summer Youth Employment program is returning. That is great news for countless local families.
The program, under the auspices of Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, is one of the most worthwhile programs we know. It offers employment opportunities and life training for youths.
Belmont County has been allocated $289,000 for this summer. It will enable the hiring of about 100 students throughout the county. Income eligibility for employment is 200 percent of the poverty level or below.
The program places the young workers in their respective communities, townships and school districts.
Their tasks will consist of painting, cleaning, clerical, custodial, grass cutting, recreational aides and library clerk.
They will work in schools, villages, townships, parks, pools, libraries and businesses.
Their hiring is a double-edged positive. The 100 or so workers will earn $7.85 per hour for 35 hours of work per week. That will provide them a nice summer income while also getting them acclimated to the real world's work force.
They, in turn, provide valuable and needed work that many of the aforementioned entities would be unable to undertake, either due to the lack of manpower, money or both.
The jobs will be offered to income eligible youth, ages 16 to 24 (must be age 16 by June 1). Youths ages 14- and 15- year old may apply but will be placed on a waiting list.
We encourage youth to pursue a worthwhile opportunity.
Interested youngsters should call Connections at 740-633-JOBS (5627) or 1-877-516-JOBS (5627) to schedule an eligibility appointment. Application packets are also available in local high schools where high school youth can submit applications by mail rather than by an appointment. Appointments will begin in the next week and youth should call as soon as possible before all appointments are filled.
Time is of the essence.
"We need all county youth interested in the annual program to contact our Connections Office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment," said BCDJFS Director Dwayne Pielech. "We will begin conducting interviews in May and do all the preliminary employer scheduling in advance of the June start-up. The appointment schedule will fill quickly."
Belmont County Community Action Commission will oversee the program once all youth are hired. It runs from June to August.
The summer youth program can prove a life-changing event for Belmont County youths. It is one that they need to take advantage of.