Highland County’s Youth Employment Program is Planning Now for Summer Jobs

In Highland County, the Youth Employment Program places county youth with local businesses and organizations to provide them with real life experience in the work place.  This year the program has a goal of ten students working, for one hundred hours each, through the summer from June 20 through August 26.

Karen Milnes is the Coordinator for the Youth Employment Program through The Highland Center.

“The Highland Center actually employs the students and through the generous funding of the Monterey Lions Club, the Department of Social Services, some county funding and various entities we pay the wages of these students,” says Milnes. “The youth must be 16 years old to participate. You can participate if you’re 14 or 15, but you have to acquire a work permit.  Get in contact with me for that permit process.”

Applications for students are available at the high school and at The Highland Center.

“It’s no charge to the businesses up to the allotted time and then after that if you wish to continue employment the businesses will be required to pay,” says Milnes.  “Minimum wage is now $11 an hour.”

The program is currently recruiting both youth and employers to sign up.  The hope is to have everyone matched up in jobs by mid to late May.

“Employers can send me an email and I will get you the application,” says Milnes.  “It’s a pretty quick one-page application, where you’ll provide a job description and then we’ll recruit youth throughout the county and have them match up with you for an interview.  In return for paying the wages of the students, we ask employers to not only provide a safe and supportive, maybe even educational, workplace for these students, in full compliance with federal and state youth labor laws, but we ask you to, as an employer, to participate in the interview process.  This works to get us better matches, but also it’s critical to the students’ educational experience, giving them that real life experience of an actual interview.”

For more information and to get both employer and youth applications, email  YEP@thehighlandcenter.org

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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