State program is helping teens with summer jobs

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Summer jobs are tough to come by for young people. There's competition from older applicants and now hiring cutbacks. So when the Texas Workforce Center in Nacogdoches conducted an after school summer work orientation, 178 teenagers showed up. The program is a win-win situation for qualified teens and their future employers. "Workforce Solutions will be paying the salaries of $8 an hour," explained Kristy Royal, Texas Workforce Center employee. "All we're asking is for the employers to provide us with a spot to place the individuals so they will be able work for three months."

Timothy Mitchell is in his twenties and will graduate from SFA next month. TWC pays his college expenses through a similar Youth At Work program. Accountability is what he's learning. "That really challenged me to study harder, to be better because people are watching me," expressed Mitchell. "People are looking at me and wanting me to do better."

The USA Youth At Work program also teaches career readiness skills such as dress and showing up to work on time. Then there's discussion over what the teens are really interested in. "It's definitely the money. They love getting the money," smiled LaTreaser Cartwright, a TWC employee.  "They're always waiting on their checks and they want to know what time their checks are going to get here." She added, "It's the ones who really want to work who usually succeed."

Your local Texas Workforce Center can provide more information about programs within the Workforce Investment Act and USA Youth At Work.