After 20 years of providing summer employment opportunities to youth and young adults between the ages of 14-21, the YouthWorks program is increasing its reach by now including 22-25 year-olds, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced today.
With this expansion, more young adults are eligible to apply for the YouthWorks program that provides career readiness training, work experience, skill-building, income, and a chance to be mentored while gaining exposure to careers of interest.
“This is an exciting moment in our program’s history where youth and young adults alike can gain soft skills and hands-on experience to find themselves a career–not just a job,” said Tasia Cerezo, Director of Youth Employment, Curriculum and Training at Commonwealth Corporation.
Commonwealth Corporation administers the YouthWorks program on behalf of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. With a state-approved budget of $24 million for FY ’22 and access to ARPA funds, YouthWorks is set to serve youth within 31 cities in Massachusetts through its program offerings.
“Reaching more young adults–especially those in our Gateway Cities–through the YouthWorks program is an essential part of our regional workforce strategy that provides quality career pathways to participants while also assisting employers and closing equity gaps,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “Our youth represents the future of the Commonwealth’s workforce, which is one reason why this program is so important.”
YouthWorks partners with nonprofit, public sector, and private sector businesses to provide varying career experiences to youth and young adults throughout the program cycle. Participants are placed in safe, supervised, high-quality work opportunities.
Kristin Carlson, President of Peerless Precision, Inc., has been a YouthWorks employer partner for several years and an avid advocate for this age expansion. “The reality is that young adults between 22-25 are still trying to find their place in life and figure out what they want to do,” said Carlson. “Giving them the same exposure opportunities as those aged 14-21 will help them make the best decision for them. As a YouthWorks job site, being involved in this program provides us with the opportunity to change the narrative and give young people a real look into what advanced manufacturing really is and the career paths that come with it. It is all about helping to build our future workforce and give young people more opportunities.”
Employers interested in becoming a YouthWorks partner and hiring a participant can contact their local MassHire.
Applications for the next grant cycle will be released in April through local YouthWorks programs. To find your local YouthWorks program, visit commcorp.org/youthworks-programs.