County Executive Calvin Ball and the Office of Workforce Development launched a Virtual Summer Youth Program to connect 14-24 year-olds with jobs in Howard County. This five-week paid program focuses on job readiness skills and career exploration in a structured virtual learning environment. 

“Our Virtual Summer Youth Program is an incredible example of Howard County working to innovatively expand opportunity for all,” said Ball. “Participants will have the chance to learn key skills and gain a better understanding of the different career paths they may pursue. It’s critical that we support growth, development and hands-on experience for our Howard County youth currently facing significant challenges.”  

To participate in the Virtual Summer Youth Program, applicants must be Howard County residents and between the ages of 14-24. These opportunities are open for youth with limited incomes or obstacles in their background that make finding employment more difficult. Participants must be committed to working up to 20 hours per week and will earn a competitive wage for a maximum of five weeks. The program is anticipated to operate from July 13 – August 14, 2020. There will be a mandatory orientation on July 13 & 14, 2020.  

“I am very pleased that we can offer our Summer Youth Program virtually this year,” said Francine Trout, Office of Workforce Development Administrator. “This program will provide young people with the opportunity to be well-prepared for employment. Career exploration provides a great benefit for people. I believe it is just as important to learn what you do want to do for a career as well as learning what you do not want to do. This program will incorporate both components, all done virtually.” 

To be considered for the program, residents must complete and return all copies of appropriate documentation and the completed application. This includes: a documentation check-off sheet, SSCI background check form, Maryland work permit application, and the Virtual Summer Youth Program employment application. The deadline for applications, electronically or by mail, is Friday, June 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered or accepted. To apply please visit: http://mid-marylandwib.org/summer-youth-program/ 

Participants are strongly encouraged to submit completed applications electronically through the Office of Workforce Development Portal. Packets may also be mailed to the Columbia Workforce Center, 7161 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. Participants will be selected based on order of completed applications and through an interview process.  

Questions and concerns may be directed to Jermira Sarratt, Youth Program Coordinator, at 410-290-2620 or jesarratt@howardcountymd.gov or Ninah Dawson, ndawson@howardcountymd.gov 

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This sounds like a wonderful program and I am happy that the county is moving forward in the virtual environment with COVID-19 happening all around us.

I honestly do not know a lot about this program but it is something for me to research further in the future. Much of the “Mid-Maryland Workforce Development” is still under development today.

I may reach out to the Office of Workforce Development to see if I can obtain more information for the community.

Scott E