County program aims to help unemployed youths

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – School is out and the hunt for summer jobs has started, not just for teens, but for adults, as well. A local program is helping teens hedge their bets and snag work for the summer.

The Summer Youth Employment program is making it their job to get teens in Lucas County working. Officials said the program is helping kids get extra cash and experience.

"A lot of the young people that are getting these jobs, wouldn't be able to have jobs if it weren't for programs like this," explained Stephen MacDonald with the YMCA youth opportunity program.

Summer jobs are not just for teens anymore. People of all ages are searching for work. On Monday, 500 people between the ages of 16 and 24 stopped looking and started working as a part of the Summer Youth Employment Program, including Chafay Sutton.

"They know where to lead me, or if I have a question about a job. They've helped mold me into being more professional, and how to deal with people, hands on and face to face," said Sutton.

There are 100 cities around the county that are taking on the young workers for a one-week paid period, including the YMCA Youth Opportunity Office, McDonald's, Lucas County Facilities and several others. Participants get to learn the ropes of where they are placed and learn life skills for future employment.

"It's just important for any youth to stay engaged in the work force, and to take the opportunity to add additional things to their resume, and to continue their skill building and training," said Nick Toncic with the Summer Youth Employment program.

Sutton has been participating in the program for a few years now. She said it has helped her develop a plan for her future and focus on making it happen.

"I'm doing this so that when I have my children, you know, so they won't have to grow up in a home of poverty, and I'll be able to finance their education, and they'll be able to go to any college they want to," said Sutton.

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