Jobs Program Gives Teens Skills for Success
Application Process Begins March 18
Omaha, NE - Long lines are expected again this year for the Step-Up Summer Jobs program.
It's the sixth year the Empowerment Network has matched young people with jobs. The program has grown from thirty jobs the first year to 443 jobs in 2012. The goal this year is 600 jobs.
"We want to make sure the summer employment program is not just a summer program, but is an employment pathway and a pipeline," said Empowerment Network President Willie Barney.
The original goal of the program was to place high-risk youth in jobs and reduce gun violence during the summer months. Barney says it works, "In six years in northeast Omaha, we have seen a 51% decrease in gun assaults in northeast Omaha."
The jobs program has evolved into a job training program for many young people. Many of the teens placed in 2012 are still working for the companies that hired them. Barney says the program is preparing the workforce of the future, "When young people are given an opportunity to prove themselves and take advantage of opportunities, they want to do it."
In addition to increasing the number of available jobs, this year's goals include doubling the number of businesses that offer jobs and raising one-million dollars to provide the funding. The city of Omaha will contribute $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant money. Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle says he will personally contact businesses and philanthropic leaders, asking for donations.
Applicants for the Step-Up Program must be between 14 and 24 years old. Applications will be available starting March 18. Visit www.stepupomaha.com for information about applying for a job, offering a job or donating money.