We all remember our very first summer job. We learned teamwork, time management, plus we made friends and felt the excitement of cashing that first paycheck. It was an essential part of our professional and personal development into adulthood. For the past several years, Summit DD has understood the importance of providing a Summer Youth Work Experience Program to teens and young adults throughout Summit County.
“We were extremely excited to have the ability to offer the Summer Youth Work Experience program this summer. With the support of teams, providers, and employers, over 25 students from across the county worked in community based settings giving them valuable experience for future planning,” shared Summit DD Community Supports and Development Manager, Jacquie Owens.
The teens and young adults involved in the program received valuable hands-on job experience throughout the community, including the RubberDucks stadium Canal Park, Winking Lizard Restaurant, Big Lots, Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation, the City of Stow, Loyal Oaks Golf Course, and more. Each student had a skilled job coach/developer on-site throughout the summer to help hone and develop their skills. The coaches/developers also represented a large portion of Summit County, like Weaver Industries, Hattie Larlham, Total Education Solutions, Community Connections Northeast Ohio, and Koinonia.
“We believe that everyone who wants to work should have the right to work, whether they have a disability or not,” stated Summit DD Superintendent, John Trunk. “This collaboration is one of many aimed at supporting kids through their transition to adult life and to make our communities inclusive for all. Our communities are better when they include everyone, from day cares and schools to workplaces and neighborhoods,” Trunk added.
Summit DD Referral and Support Specialists (RSS), Service and Support Administrators (SSA), and Community Supports and Development staff worked diligently to make sure the individuals were enjoying their work experiences while communicating essential information between the families, job coaches/developers, and employers.
The Summer Youth Work Experience Program is just one of the many initiatives funded by local tax dollars provided by generous Summit County residents. Thank you for your generosity, and a special thanks to all the community jobs sites, essential disability providers, and Summit DD staff who made this year’s program a big success.
Check out the fun slideshow below!