Published Feb 24, 2020 by Susan Moore
Earlier this year, Houston City Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the launch of the fifth year of the City’s Hire Houston Youth summer internship program along with a new target employment goal. Turner has called on Houston employers to offer 20,000 jobs to young Houstonians.
Each job is an opportunity for Houston’s business and non-profit communities to help prepare young talent for successful careers in our region’s competitive global economy. Businesses can offer employment opportunities or financial support to help non-profits and other organizations provide summer job opportunities.
Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Partnership, spoke during the launch event. He urged businesses owners and employers to invest in developing the region’s young talent by participating in the program.
“It’s truly incumbent upon the business community to recognize the importance of giving these young people this opportunity,” Harvey said. “There’s really no excuse for businesses in Houston not to get behind this effort and continue to let it grow. It’s really making a difference in Houston.”
The program has grown significantly since it was launched in 2016, when employers provided more than 1,100 youth with summer jobs. In 2019, youth had access to more than 11,400 employment opportunities, most of which were within the private sector.
The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative champions career-connected learning programs along with opportunities for hands-on career exploration. These summer career experiences help young people recognize multiple pathways into good careers, learn skills they can apply toward earning credentials or certifications, and connect with mentors.
Through summer employment, young talent forge professional relationships with industry experts who can impart valuable industry-related or occupation-specific wisdom. Summer employment also exposes young Houstonians and, by extension, their parents, to the wealth of good career opportunities they might not otherwise come to know.
Hire Houston Youth internship opportunities are open to Houston residents 16 to 24-years-old. Internships must last at least seven weeks. Employers are encouraged to pay at least $9 per hour, although many choose to pay more, according to Mayor Turner.
The Partnership, its UpSkill Houston initiative and the Houston Mayor’s Office will be hosting a luncheon on March 16 to encourage the business community to take part in the program.
Employers can sign up and donate to the program at HireHoustonYouth.org. As part of its work to advance Houston’s position as a great global city, the Greater Houston Partnership is strengthening our region’s future through its Houston Next strategy, which focuses on creating a strong, diverse 21st-century economy; ensuring a great quality of life; and supporting opportunity for all.
The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative works to ensure Greater Houston has the skilled workforce to advance our global competitiveness while empowering Houstonians to follow pathways to prosperity and opportunity.
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