Nearly 140 local teenagers and young adults are gaining work experience, taking part in educational programs and earning a steady paycheck this summer through The Athens County Subsidized Summer Youth Employment Program. The program, which is being run by Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action Program (HAPCAP) and Athens County Job and Family Services, is funded through the federal government’s economic stimulus package.
The employment program is providing summer jobs to 138 Athens County residents between the ages of 14-24. All positions have been filled and there is a waiting list for any positions that open up during the summer. The program's 40 work sites all across the county provide jobs in fields such as the arts, animal care, building and grounds maintenance, community and social services, education, library science, and office and administration support.
“HAPCAP is very excited to be a partner in this program. Many participants in the program have demonstrated initiative, motivation and pride to be working in the communities in which they live. For some, this is their first job and it is rewarding to see how they are developing work and life skills that they can take with them for their rest of their lives. Others are building on previous work experiences while helping to support their families,” said Jessica Stroh, employment and economic development director for HAPCAP. The employment program has received excellent support from the participants and their family members, and from the work sites and businesses that are working with the program, Stroh added.
Nickie Bailes, who lives near Coolville, is working as a job coach for the program and said it has been a good experience for her and for the young adults she works with. The young adults have all been working hard at their jobs and they are learning a great deal, she said.
“Having a job and having this responsibility is really helpful for them,” Bailes added. “A lot of them want to continue working.” She has also seen the participants become more motivated with their work throughout the summer.
For Bailes, serving as a job coach has been a good learning experience that will also be another positive item for her resume.
“I like it,” she said about serving as a job coach. “It gives you the opportunity to solve problems from a different angle.”
Additional posts will feature comments from several of the program participants