Despite the continued bleak news on the job front, the Youth Job Center of Evanston says it’s set a new record for placing young people in permanent jobs.

For the last 12 months, YJC leaders say they placed 715 young people in such jobs — up from 605 in the same period a year earlier.

“We realized at the beginning of the year that we were going to have to be extremely innovative and aggressive in order to find our young people jobs this year,” the center’s executive director, Sacella Smith, said.  “Unemployment among youth is still over 20 percent.  And when the majoriity of the young people we serve are from low-income households, having a job is critical.”

The YJC’s development director,Kim Hoopingarner, says a key to success is ensuring that the young people the center refer to employers are truly job-ready.

“We want our employer partners to feel confident hiring a YJC client. When the YJC provides the upfront screening and job-readiness training, that saves the employer time and money, ” Hoopingarner says.

The YJC hosted 55 on-site recruitment events, three community job fairs and added 295 new employers to its list of employer partners in the past year.  The 715 job placements ranged from entry level positions in retail and hospitality to career-track positions in healthcare, manufacturing and education.

The nonprofit Youth Job Center helps job seekers ages 14-25 in finding employment.  The YJC also works with employers to help them meet their staffing needs by referring applicants who are trained in basic job skills and ready to get to work.

For more information, contact the Youth Job Center, 847-864-5627.

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