|
Milford Beacon
  • Jobs for Juniors offers experience and savings for high school students

  • For some students, after-school jobs are a way to get some extra spending cash, but for Jasmine Smith and Jasmine Newman, their after-school work is preparing them for their post-secondary educations and careers both financially and experientially.
    • email print
  • For some students, after-school jobs are a way to get some extra spending cash, but for Jasmine Smith and Jasmine Newman, their after-school work is preparing them for their post-secondary educations and careers both financially and experientially.
    Both Smith and Newman have found part-time jobs through the Jobs for Juniors program, which connects the Milford School District with the city’s Workforce Development Commission and a few participating businesses. Student candidates are recommended by the district and then interviewed by businesses to find the right fit. If selected, the students are paid at least minimum wage, and then contribute $1 per hour worked to a savings fund, which is matched by the commission and the business.
    Smith, who has been working for i.g. Burton since November, said her experiences are helping her prepare for a career in business.
    “I’ve learned a lot about how the business world works, like putting yourself in the customer’s shoes,” the 17-year-old high school junior said. “There’s always something new here and I love it.”
    Both Smith and Newman said the interaction with co-workers has taught them a lot about what to expect after they graduate and enter the workforce. Smith said it has been a lesson in maturity to work at a high-end car dealership with adults who have been in the workforce for years.
    Newman, who has been working at Premiere Orthopedics Bone and Joint Care since October, said working with adult employees and customers is helping her to come out of her shell.
    “I love it here and it helps me and my family out,” the 17-year-old junior said. “It’s a good after-school program. There are wonderful people and it’s a wonderful atmosphere.”
    Both girls, as well as two other students currently participating in the program, work five days a week for at least an hour to two hours per day. The businesses work around their school schedules and extra-curricular activities, and some also offer the opportunity to work on weekends, days off from school, school breaks and over the summer.
    Since the program’s inception in the fall of 2012, 11 students and five local businesses have participated, said Dave Markowitz, vice chair of the Workforce Development Commission. Former students that have worked through the program have earned $1,000 to $2,000, on average, from the matched savings fund.
    “I think that for the kids that have participated, it’s worked well,” Markowitz said. “They’ve gotten experience at a job that they could foreseeably use after they graduate. The five seniors that graduated last year all went to either junior college or college.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The program is now hoping to expand by finding more local businesses willing to participate.
    “We can find more jobs for juniors if we have more local companies willing to participate,” Markowitz said.
    Sylvia Henderson, a member of the Workforce Development Commission and Milford School District Director of Student Support, said while students and businesses benefit from the Jobs for Juniors program, the entire Milford community can reap the rewards, as well.
    “I think the more you see Milford growing, the more there will be a need to keep our young students here to want to be a part of that community,” Henderson said. “We have students that want to live and be a part of this community and they just need to know what’s out there for them. It’s part of the business’ responsibility to give our students a chance to be a part of that and be a part of the future.”
    For more information about the Jobs for Juniors program or to sign up as a business partner, call Dave Markowitz at 422-8003.
      • calendar