Summer Youth Employment Program - 2014

The Little Rock Workforce Investment Area (LRWIA), it’s Board of Directors (LRWIB), and the Little Rock Workforce Center contractor (Arbor E & T) support and operate an annual Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) that provides a meaningful summer work experience to youth age 16-21. A large part of the strength of this program derives from its partnership with dozens of local employers willing to open slots for young people to gain valuable work experience for 6-8 weeks during the summer months. During a normal summer period the LRWIB contributes enough funding from its annual WIA allocation for 50-75 youth positions.

Arbor E&T conducts outreach efforts in the Little Rock School District (LRSD) by making program flyers, brochures and registration forms available to counselors and principals of all area High Schools and also available online. The summer youth participant must be a resident of Little Rock, 16-21 years old, complete a 4-day work-preparation training course, and be willing to work 32 hours per week for 6-8 weeks at minimum wage or slightly above. A participant can typically earn from $1,000 to $1,800 if they work the entire duration of the program. The Little Rock WIA has an enrollment policy restricting its contractor Arbor E&T to only enroll participants that meet normal WIA eligibility criteria regarding income and barriers. An employer of a summer youth participant signs a worksite agreement ensuring that they will provide a safe working environment, meaningful and needed work opportunities, and proper supervision and constructive criticism to the young person. They also attend a 1-day orientation that will prepare them to work with young people. Most employers usually come away from the program with the feeling that they have positively influenced the work ethic and future employability of the participant, who often is working for the first time as an official employee. Many employers will ask for the same youth to return and work for them again the next summer.

For more information, contact W.J. Monagle at: 501-683-3843, or w.j.monagle@arkansas.gov