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National Restaurant Association - Cranking up the heat on summer jobs programs

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Cranking up the heat on summer jobs programs

To help grow opportunities for students interested in industry careers, we’re working with lawmakers, restaurateurs and educators around the country on summer jobs programs that offer hands-on experience and education, our vice president of political advocacy said.

“Our objective has been to bring everyone together and start the conversation on how restaurants can support workforce development through summer jobs programs,” said Jon Simons, who oversees our grassroots initiatives.

Simons added that the programs are especially important to developing both skills and work ethic. It also helps the industry find the best candidates for its workforce.

“They’re a great way of cultivating future employees and helping the best ones rise through the ranks to build rewarding careers,” he said.

Here are four programs already making a difference:

Summer Kids & Jobs Program, Birmingham, Ala.
We’ve partnered with Mayor William A. Bell’s summer jobs initiative for at-risk youths. The program is geared toward kids aged 14 through 21. The objective this year was to fill 100 jobs.

Grow Detroit Youth, Detroit
One of Mayor Mike Duggan’s signature programs, we’re working with his administration and our local partners to bring attention to the initiative and the restaurants participating in it. Last year, we assisted in getting area restaurants to supply the program with 300 summer jobs. This year we’re looking to increase the number to 500.

TeenWorks, Indianapolis
We’ve assisted Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration in partnering with restaurant companies to offer students six weeks of summer employment. In addition to offering on-the-job training, the program also helps kids create professional resumes.
      So far, four restaurants have signed up to participate, and they’re now working on developing a rotation program and curriculum for year-round operation.

Summer Youth Employment Commission, Kansas City, Mo.
We’ve worked with Mayor Sly James’ summer youth employment initiative to help screen candidates for summer internships. At a jobs fair in April, we collected information and filtered candidates for available positions.
     Each student provided information on the jobs they were interested in and their corresponding skills and training. Employers provided criteria for each job. Last year, more than 1,400 high school and college-age youths applied for just 212 jobs.

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