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2023 Summer Youth Work Program a success

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Local teens learned the value of hard work through the 2023 Summer Youth Work Program, with host businesses including Ponderosa Steakhouse. (Submitted photos)
Jennifer Goodwin, Highland County Board of DD

Local teens learned the value of hard work through the 2023 Summer Youth Work Program.

This program, which is coordinated through the Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Community First Department in conjunction with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), offers youths between the ages of 14 and 20 a chance to earn minimum wage while performing jobs in the area. Local businesses agreed to host teens, who learn job skills with the aid of a job coach, and businesses benefit from getting extra help during the summertime at no extra cost to them.

This year, the program was held May 30-June 30, with 18 students participating. The program took place at Highland County YMCA, Star Cinemas Movie Theater, Ponderosa Steakhouse, The Elks Golf Course and Highland County Senior Citizen Center.
Each week, youths not only earned money but learned responsibilities to guide them as working adults. They learned skills that they can use as job experience when applying for future positions. Some of the skills that were taught were maintenance, pulling weeds, painting, clearing debris and cleaning tasks such as sweeping, mopping and sterilizing restrooms. This is valuable information to assist these students after the program and continue when they start their job search after graduation.

HCBDD also offers pre-employment transition services and job development services, and these services combined with the Summer Youth program, help youths in our county to be more successful in future careers. It was another successful year, and thank you to our local businesses that participated.