Summer program makes hiresPublished 8:42pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
Four hundred and seventy five sets of eyes watched anxiously Wednesday as representatives from the Selma City Council pulled 174 names out of several buckets. With each name called, a summer job was given to an area youth.
The city hosts the Summer Youth Employment Program annually to give Selma residents between the ages of 15 and 22 the opportunity to work for a city agency or organization.
“We do this because all of our children need something to occupy them during the summer moths,” said Selma Mayor George Evans.
Last summer, the program placed more than 220 youth in area businesses.
The program is broken in to two four-week sessions, the first beginning June 10 and the second July 9. Youth who participate will log in 16 hours per week, making $7.25 per hour.
Val Jones, personnel director for the program, said the employment service was developed in an effort to instill work ethic in area youth.
“This not only gives them extra money, but it gives them something constructive to do and allows them to gain valuable experience,” Jones said.
While waiting in the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center, which was overflowing with area youth, Jameria Jones said she was shocked when she heard her name called.
“I wasn’t really expecting to hear my name called, considering there are so many of us,” said Jones, a junior at Selma High School. “This is a great opportunity.
For Michael Parker, a ninth grader at Selma High School, receiving a summer job meant something more than just extra money.
“This will help keep me out of trouble this summer,” Parker said. “I’m not really hoping for any specific job, I’m just happy to have one.”
Jobs available through the program include landscape, office jobs and work with area organizations, departments and agencies.
Evans said through participating in the program, youth will gain valuable experience in the work force.
“Even though it’s not a lot of money, it’s a great opportunity and it gives them something constructive to do instead of sitting at home all day long,” Evans said. “I wish we could give more jobs, but we only had so many supporters.”