You’ve heard of YouthWorks, right? It’s been around for more than 50 years! This year, 19 HABC worksites participated in the recruitment program operated through the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. HABC hired 86 Youthworkers who gained hands-on experience in seven HABC departments and 12 developments over the course of two sessions that ran a total of five weeks this summer. It’s very likely that you may have seen these “young professionals” at your site, eager to gain some valuable skills.

The YouthWorks program connects youth to summer jobs with private, nonprofit, and government employers throughout Baltimore. These same businesses fund this program in addition to philanthropic contributors. Participants in Baltimore, ages 14 through 21, work in local industries, and gain basic workforce readiness and career-specific skills. Each YouthWorks participant is screened for skills and interests to match workplace needs. This includes job readiness training prior to being referred to interviews. The youth are assigned an Enrollment Service Specialist and Job Coaches throughout the summer to ensure a positive and beneficial experience for all parties. If a good impression is made, it is possible that the employer could hire the Youthworks employee full-time.

This summer, HABC incorporated “Workshop Thursdays” to provide the youth with a more meaningful work experience. For instance, the Housing Operations division hosted a financial literacy workshop for all youth assigned at HABC developments to help them gain money management skills. On July 27th, HABC hosted a "Vision Board" closeout event at Pleasant View Gardens for the first session of youth workers. The youth were awarded certificates for their efforts and enjoyed cupcakes, punch and good times with their peers and mentors. 

We wish all the young people much success in their future endeavors and hope to see them again next year.