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Home : News : News
NEWS | May 17, 2010

'YES' a win-win program for youths, hiring organizations

By Sean Bowlin 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs OL-B

A summer program can provide work experience to Randolph youth while they earn money for their post-high school education.

The Youth Employment Skills program, sponsored by the Air Force Aid Society, is open to children in grades 9-12, who are dependants of active-duty Airmen. It allows children to "bank" up to $4 an hour ($1,000 maximum) for college or technical school into an AFAS account by working in a Randolph agency or command unit, said Jeri Peterson, 902nd Force Support Squadron Chief, Youth Programs Division.

"We're already starting to get applications from teens and the situation is a win-win," Ms. Peterson said. "Teens get work experience which they can use later in life. They learn to dress professionally, show up for work and do the job. They get mentored, and can find out if working in a particular field is good for them by exploring vocations, and agencies get motivated help for administrative duties, filing, answering phones or light manual work. In times like this when organizations have to do more with less, you actually have more people to do the work."

Ms. Peterson, who needs agencies and command units to contact her so she can construct position descriptions for their open jobs prior to hiring the teens, added YES is ideal for youths aged 14-15 who are too young to be hired for a minimum-wage job or drive to work, but still want community-service type employment they can list on college applications.

Ms. Peterson said YES has historically accepted from 16 to 38 teens per summer, placing them in organizations such as the 902nd Force Support Squadron, the Randolph Medical Clinic, the base legal office, contracting and the arts & crafts center.

"It all depends on how many agencies we have listed who want to participate and how many teens we have applying for positions," Ms. Peterson added.

Ms. Peterson said teens accepted for the program will be briefed on their duties, basic work professionalism and time management skills. Also, there will be an attempt to ensure each position meshes with the applicant's occupational interests. Additionally, Ms. Peterson will stay in contact with the employing organizations throughout the summer to ensure teens meet job performance objectives.

One teen supervised by MariAnne Clark, ITT director of outdoor recreation, performed well as a YES-sponsored employee there.

"He suited up, showed up, did the job and learned discipline by coming in at a certain time, by leaving for lunch at a certain time and coming back at a certain time. And he earned money for college, which was good," Ms. Clark said.

Teens interested in applying for YES or base organizations wanting to hire teens through its auspices may reach Ms. Peterson at 652-3298.