From Orange County Commissioner Rod Love
This year, the City of Apopka has partnered with CareerSource Central Florida to facilitate Apopka Youth Works (AYW), the City of Apopka’s Summer Job Program for local youth. Apopka Youth Works is geared toward Apopka community high school juniors and seniors who are residents of the City or in adjoining neighborhoods. With over 150 students and 31 companies participating in the program this year, Apopka’s very own, Mayor Bryan Nelson hosted a kick-off event for this year’s program at the Apopka Community Center (VFW).
AYW was launched during the Summer of 2015 in an effort to provide youth with a summer job and exposure in their desired field. In its first year, AYW had 32 high school students participate in the program. By 2016, AYW was able to employ 75 youth and established partnerships with local businesses. 100 youth participated in the program last summer, and AYW 2.0, an extension of the program that targets high school seniors, was launched. AYW 2.0 provides free training to youth who are seeking an industry certification or technical degree. 11 students were able to complete Emergency Medical Technician training through a partnership with the Orlando Medical Institute.
As part of the terms of the partnership, the City and CareerSource will provide the following for the 150 selected program participants: Mentoring; occupational skills training; leadership development; financial literacy education; and a paid summer internship opportunity for 8 weeks with an area business. As part of the internship, selected students will earn $9.00 per hour and work 30 hours a week for seven weeks. In addition to wages, the program will include but will not be limited to the following expenses: Work skills training curriculum and delivery; work skills completion incentives; food and drink; payroll processing costs; and drug and background checks conducted as necessary.
In placing the participants with area businesses for their internship, the City has identified 31 local businesses to serve as host worksites with assistance from CareerSource. Additionally, to fulfill the financial literacy education component of the Program, the City will facilitate the Financial Literacy Dollar Wise training course. Furthermore, the City will assist in the facilitation of the Program by securing a location to host the work readiness training courses; identify a point of contact to communicate with the CareerSource Career Services Consultant; and providing food and drink during the skills training courses and workshops.
CareerSource Central Florida will fulfill their end of the partnership by providing administrative oversight and case management services for youth participating in Apopka’s Youth Works program. To incentivize youth to participate and complete the work readiness training course, CareerSource will provide $200 for those who complete the course. With the 31 host worksites having been identified by the City and CareerSource, CareerSource will assist in executing worksite agreements. Some additional administrative matters that CareerSource will assist with include the following: Engaging a third party vendor for processing of payroll and wage distribution; creating the online application for the Program; maintaining a database of applicants and providing access to the City; and providing close-out documentation within 30 days of completion of the Program date (including supporting documentation to substantiate expenses). Furthermore, CareerSource will be assisting with the facilitation of the Program’s workplace essential skills training course.
In terms of funding for the initiative, the total projected program cost is $468,520. Due to the strong success of AYW, the City of Apopka will invest $60,000 in the Program (including the closing ceremony) as part of the partnership (to be made directly to CareerSource), and CareerSource will contribute $408,520 (not to be exceeded) toward the total projected cost. If costs exceed the total projected cost, CareerSource will be financially responsible for any additional expenses.