American YouthWorks and the City of Austin (COA) have worked together for twenty five years on issues affecting Austinites. In May, thanks to this partnership, four graduates of AYW started paid internships with the COA! This exciting pilot program is a win-win in which AYW provides young people with training and job support to ensure a successful transition to employment post high school and the COA provides temporary employment that will help these graduates on the road to long term stability. After they complete their internship, the AYW graduates will have a leg up to apply for full time, permanent employment with the COA.
After several weeks of work, the interns are feeling enthusiastic about their new positions in the Street and Bridge Department. The experience in our jobs training programs, has helped these interns develop skills and confidence to fulfill their supervisors’ expectations. They also like the $12.00 an hour! But this internship is SO MUCH MORE than just a temporary job. Gaining entry into employment is difficult for many of our graduates. Though they’ve taken the first step towards a better life by earning their high school diploma or GED, for many this is not enough to secure a stable future. Even when the students finish high school, they still face many challenges related to housing, their responsibilities as parents and securing quality employment.
There are not many opportunities to walk into a $12.00 an hour job with great benefits.
That’s why partnerships, such as this one, are so important and we’d like to thank the COA for working with us to provide life changing opportunities for these graduates. Many young people enroll in AYW in a place of uncertainty, and these four graduates can now picture a stable future for themselves. The interns are extremely proud to be accepted into the COA workforce. Having previous negative views of authority, they now see that they have skills that they can use to make a contribution. Between AYW’s caring staff who provide support and guidance and the COA’s high expectations of the graduates, these young people are making positive choices that will ensure their success. They wear their COA badges with pride and are not taking this chance for granted.
You can help by providing a job shadowing opportunity to a young person at AYW!