Developing a Jobs Program for Youth

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    • 1). Decide on what type of jobs program you would like to develop. Some of the more common frameworks are:

      Odd job programs that connect youth with local private citizens who need odd jobs completed; this is generally unskilled labor.

      Experience programs where an individual works on a short term with an employer to gain skills. In these programs, the youths either volunteer or are paid. These jobs may require some prerequisite skills and can exist in any labor market sector.

      Skill match programs to connect youth with employers who can utilize their existing skills.

      The nature of a jobs program matches the client base it serves.

    • 2). Research available employment services in your region. Local agencies may be interested in partnering or creating a network. Partnerships may provide additional resources to your program.

    • 3). Determine your budget. The amount of funds available may direct the scope of the project and/or limit the amount of participants. Projects that involve offsetting the wage of the participant serve small groups, yet attract more employers.

      Costs involving information management and marketing can be offset with free online options. Online powerhouses such as Salesforce.com and Zoho can manage contact information on participants and employers. Marketing on a budget is easier with social marketing through Twitter.

    • 4). Establish an administrative process to handle the data. Implement database software that will handle both the employer data and the client data. The complexity of the administrative process depends on the amount of staffing available for the project.

      Collect data on the industries that generate the jobs and information on the participants if the program extends beyond one year, or has no end date. This will help you develop a better program with time.

    • 5). Investigate laws surrounding insurance and liability if your jobs program will perform placement services. Laws will vary depending on your location and involvement in the work performed by the participant. For example special insurance may apply if you transport participants with vehicles.

      Services that simply provide job leads to participants will have less administrative concerns.

    • 6). Canvass the local labor market. It is essential to first have buy-in from employers who will provide the jobs. Local employers are often willing to participate in job fair events, which is a great way to serve large groups.

      Not having enough jobs at the onset of the program may result in discouraged participants who may become impatient. If possible, provide incentives for the employers such as wage subsidies.

    • 7). Create resources for participants. A resource room provides a physical location to meet with participants, but the same can be managed with simply a telephone line and a Web site. A Web site can provide many resources, (such as resume and cover letter templates) for self-serve clients.

    • 8). Advertise the jobs program with local youth oriented agencies. Utilizing social media networks can spread the word about your program quickly. Be sure to provide your organization's contact information and/or Web address.

      Social service agencies will refer their clients to the program if it will provide employment related skills.

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