Meeker Workforce Center plays a major role in state youth employment program

RBC I Each year, Colorado’s longest running and most successful youth employment program helps 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 Ellen Golombek. “The Governor’s Summer Job Hunt has assisted more than half a million teens in the last three decades and this summer, professionals at our Meeker Workforce Center are ready to work with another generation of young job seekers.”
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. Meeker 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 Meeker Workforce Center provides assistance in résumé writing, interviewing skills and job search strategies to help young people gain a competitive edge in their job hunt. The staff’s 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,” Golombek said. “It’s one thing to tell young people about 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, the Meeker Workforce Centers offer an online job bank called Connecting Colorado (www.connectingcolorado.com). 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 the Meeker Workforce Center are ready to assist. The Meeker Workforce Center is at 345 Market St. and can be reached at 878-4211.