Celebrating Summer Youth Programs
Summer is a great time for youth in Austin to start getting “real life” work experience! Here at Goodwill Central Texas, we have programs designed to empower youth with disabilities to get summer work experience that sets them on the path to a career and independence.
The summer “Earn and Learn” Program places 60 - 70 youth with disabilities from ages 14 to 22, into summer jobs across the area. These young individuals learn important skills like: how to provide good customer service, problem-solving at work, attendance and calling-in-sick, and managing transportation to and from work.
Local HEB grocery stores employ many of the youth in this program, some entering the workforce for the very first time. John Nunez, Store Manager of the Mueller HEB says, “It’s great for the youth to come get real life experience. They show up punctual and with a good attitude.”
Another Goodwill Central Texas summer youth program places 25 – 50 youth with disabilities into popular local clothing stores in the Austin area. Each summer, these stores help youth gain valuable retail sales experience. Jessica Castrejana, Summer Youth Employment Lead at Goodwill Central Texas, adds “Many of our employers have a family member or a friend with a disability. There is never a complaint that we shouldn’t be there, and [employers] couldn’t speak better about our students.”
Travis County sponsors a third summer youth program. The “Travis County Summer Employment Program” places approximately 90 youth with disabilities into positions at multiple locations throughout Austin. Like the other two programs, the county hires youth from 14 to 22 for five weeks during the summer.
We are proud of our summer youth participants, and we are grateful to all of our employer partners! If you, someone you know, or your employer is interested in participating in a summer youth program next year, please contact Jessica Castrejana at Jessica.Castrejana@goodwillcentraltexas.org.
For information about additional youth programs offered by Goodwill Central Texas, click here.