Summer job program under way

Published 10:34 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The first session of the Selma City Summer Youth Employment Program has started and participants have been placed at job sites across the city. 

The School of Discovery Genesis Center, Selma Parks and Recreation Department, Selma Police Department and more welcomed new faces and put them to work Wednesday.

Selma City Human Resources Director Val Jones said she has been over the program for quite some time now and has seen it benefit the community in many ways.

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“I think it’s wonderful that the mayor and city council allow this program to continue. The work site supervisors continue to provide us with evaluations of how program employees are doing,” Jones said. “We always hear great things.”

There are four employees at Selma City Hall who are performing clerical duties like organizing and filing paperwork.

Jasmine Ferguson is a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile and said working through the summer youth employment program has given her a real job for the first time.

“I love this program. It helps me out a lot because I am a college student. I’m learning how to work with people,” Ferguson said. “They are teaching us a lot. I really like it.”

Students at the School of Discovery Genesis Center’s summer recreation program have collaborated with the employment program as well, giving participants a chance to mentor young girls and boys.

Program director Ivery Williams said he feels the youth employment program has been able to give back to the community and help those in need of jobs learn work skills and the value of earning their own money.

“They came in working and have been keeping it up since they have been here. It’s a great chance for the mentees to have positive and productive role models,” said Ivery Williams, who is over the School of Discovery’s summer program.

Williams said the program has about 100 kids who regularly come and participate in physical activities such as tennis, volleyball, basketball and more.  Nigeria Ford said she feels good to be able to do something she loves and make money at the same time.

“I always wanted to work with kids. This is fun,” Ford said. “I hope I will be able to teach them and learn some things myself through this program.

The program will be offered for eight weeks where employees will be split up into two four-week sessions. The first will started June 7 and will end on June 20 and the second will start on July 11 and end on Aug. 8. All employees will work 16 hours a week from Monday to Thursday.

They will receive $7.25 per hour.