Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:43
WOW Workforce Development has lined up 11 employers from county
The school year is still winding down, but the staff of Washington Ozaukee Waukesha Workforce Development has been busy in its role as summer matchmaker.
Recruiting is in high gear for local employers willing to offer jobs through the Summer Youth Jobs Program.
According to Meghan Sprager, WOW Workforce Development employment relations manager, 11 businesses in Ozaukee County have agreed to offer jobs to youth through the program. In years past, the employers have included private companies and community organizations.
“We absolutely are in matchmaking mode now. In fact, we have almost reached our goals for the number of youth and employers,” Sprager said.
As many as 30 county residents between the ages of 16 and 21 have taken part in the summer hirings.
“We consider the program an entry point to employment for young people. In many cases, this is their first work experience,” Sprager said.
“What we are looking for from employers are companies that are willing to serve as workplace mentors for young people who want to gain valuable work experience.”
The pay rates for the young workers are determined by the employer, but Worker’s Compensation insurance is completely covered by the program. Depending on circumstances, as much as 100% of the wages may also be covered.
Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act.
“The Summer Youth Jobs Program is a great way for employers to add seasonal employees and for youths to develop work skills that they will use for the rest of their working lives,” Sprager said.
The program runs from June 2 to Aug. 2, with the starting date for students still in school delayed until June 16.
Youths can work a many as 30 hours a week to a maximum of 240 hours.
They are also encouraged to attend a half-day career planning workshop in mid-summer.
Case managers monitor the youths and meet with worksite supervisors to discuss workers’ strengths as well as areas for improvement. Taking a long-range perspective, case managers also work with youths to develop a resume and conduct an effective job search.
Care is given to the jobs youth are matched with, and special attention is given to accessibility.
“In some cases, we may have jobs available with employers in Waukesha that might appeal to young people from Ozaukee County if they have access to a vehicle,” Sprager said.
Because so much of the legwork for the program is done well in advance of summer, there are limited local openings available.
Employers who want more information about offering work through the program should contact Amanda Kelsey at 238-2882 or email
Young people interested in the job program should contact Cindy Hinkley at 238-2894.