The Youth Job Center will serve 30 more young people with summer employment career pathways programs thanks to a $128,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The grant will provide 18 to 24 year olds with work-readiness training, industry recognized certification and credentialing and a meaningful work experience in industry between now and Sept. 30.

“Our career pathway programs go far beyond a seasonal job,” says YJC Executive Director Sacella Smith.

“The YJC provides older youth with a clear path to long term employment sustainability by offering subsidized internships in one of the high-growth industry sectors along with enrollment in the relevant post-secondary education/credentialing program to increase the probability of them securing a permanent position that offers career and wage progression,” Smith says.

The participants, who aren’t currently working or in school, will be placed in subsidized work experiences in healthcare, manufacturing, technology and logistics.

They will attend mandatory job-readiness workshops through the YJC prior to being selected to participate in the program. Once the DCEO-funded program ends in September, YJC career advisors will continue to work with participants if they are not hired by their work site to help ensure permanent placement, retention and career advancement.

The non-profit Youth Job Center prepares job seekers ages 14-25 for success in the workplace and works with employers to help them meet their staffing needs by referring applicants who are prescreened, trained and ready to get to work.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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