Ten determined and diligent teens, all from Wicomico high schools, are busily involved in the city’s Summer Youth Work Program.
As they earn $9 per hour, they will learn about the Public Works department during 40-hour weeks, greet passersby and gain valuable office and resume writing experience.
The program was the brainchild of Mike Dunn, chairman of the Greater Salisbury Committee, who suggested it to Mayor Jake Day. The Committee would help raise part of the money to fund it, he said. Day agreed and put $55,000 in the city’s fiscal 2017 budget.
Funding also includes $8,000 from the Donnie Williams Foundation, $3,000 from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and $1,000 from the Greater Salisbury Committee.
Some of the teenaged employees are young enough to be working for the first time, and were helped with resumes by Junior Achievement members, who will continue guiding them all summer.
“We’re very excited about this program,” Day said.
“If these kids weren’t here working here in a productive way they might be doing something in unproductive ways. That’s why we’re trying to be a positive influence. This is as step toward that.
“They will walk out of here with great reference and a resume, an additional line for their resumes. They will learn a lot of financial planning skills, through the Junior Achievement program they will be involved in all summer as well,” Day said.
“The Greater Salisbury Committee is thrilled to lead the way,” Dunn said during a news conference about the program.
There were 18 applicants for the 10 summer jobs and they were interviewed by a panel that included members of the Greater Salisbury Committee, Police Chief Barbara Duncan and Public Works Director Mike Moulds.
Day said there are seven males and three females, each from a different neighborhoods. Some are working for Public Works on the streets of Salisbury and others are in offices.
Dunn said he’s “honored to have played a role in helping the mayor and City Council bring this summer jobs program to fruition.”
“We think this is a fantastic start and sends the perfect message that the community cares about our youth,” Dunn told the Salisbury Independent.
“This government, business and philanthropic partnership is a good model now and into the future. The Greater Salisbury Committee has history with engaging in our future leaders and in bringing forward programs that benefit the community,” Dunn said.
Reach Susan Canfora at firstname.lastname@example.org.