Preparing the Next Generation of Innovators: An Inside Look at Montgomery County’s Youth Career Services 365
3 May 2021
by Michael Zimmerman
Talent and innovation are everywhere and workforce development has no age requirement. The future of our local economy and business climate rests in the hands of our next generation.
Montgomery County’s Youth Career Services 365 (YCS365) is a program that employs youth between the ages 14 to 18 to work at local companies and start-ups. The format is a win-win for all involved as area students gain hands-on experience while companies inspire future industry leaders.
Kim Jarvis was first introduced to YCS365 through her role at Our Purpose Academy. The childcare provider has welcomed more than 30 youth employees since joining the program.
“We employ five to six students each summer, and they assist with classroom activities and serve as an extra set of eyes to our full-time staff,” shared Jarvis. “The support of local youth allows our team to think outside the box as they bring an array of new experiences and see the world through a different lens.”
Jarvis is continuously impressed by the variety of skills students accumulate through this eight-week summer initiate. Sandra Calle-Weaver of DeBray Enterprises, LLC agrees.
“Our student participants gain valuable skills throughout this program — from problem-solving to customer service to dependability,” stated Calle-Weaver. “As time progresses, we witness students become more comfortable and confident in who they are.”
Montgomery County covers students’ salaries and workers’ compensation insurance throughout the students’ employment. Participating businesses can focus solely on mentorship, training and creating opportunities that will further enhance a student’s college application, resume or future career path.
“For those who enjoy numbers, the cost savings of this program are extremely beneficial,” said Calle-Weaver. “It usually takes two to three months to upskill a new hire, but through Youth Career Services 365, we’ve been able to train area youth at no cost and then hire them as a fully trained employee.”
YCS365 provides local companies and budding entrepreneurs the employees they need to get the job done while inspiring the next generation. The YCS365 is another example of Montgomery County investing in its future workforce by inspiring the youth, providing hands-on experiences and helping students build a professional network.
“This program is an exceptional opportunity for both new and established businesses,” shared Clarissa Foster, jewelry designer and founder of Charmed by Riss, LLC. “For new businesses such as mine, it’s wonderful to have extra hands to get your efforts up and running.”
To learn more about Youth Career Services 365 and how your organization can get involved, click here.