Youth Gain Valuable Work Experience by Participating in Summer Employment Program

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October 18, 2017

Youth Gain Valuable Work Experience by

 Participating in Summer Employment Program

The 2017 Lake County Summer Youth Employment Program recently wrapped up another exciting summer as more than 200 youth gained meaningful work experience while earning a paycheck. Funded by the Lake County Board, the program matches youth with local worksites that offer a paid, part-time work experience. For most participants, work through the Summer Youth Employment Program is their first job.


Youth 2

This year, youth worked at 38 sites, including a mix of private employers and nonprofit organizations, local municipalities and community-based organizations throughout Lake County. Youth were paid $8.25 per hour during the program. 

Participants worked in a variety of areas, including office support, camp counseling programs, and cleaning and maintenance. 

“The program has been an incredible opportunity for students to develop positive work habits and enhance their future employability,” explained Elizabeth Black with the City of North Chicago.  “The students that worked at the City of North Chicago during the summer were always willing to learn good work habits and leadership skills that will assist them in the future.”   

Even though unemployment nationally has steadily dropped since the Great Recession, labor force participation rates for teens are in a downward trend. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the teen labor force participation rate was 43 percent as of July 2016 - nine percent lower than in the year 2000. The Summer Youth Employment Program seeks to change this trend in Lake County.  

Labor Force

“The Summer Youth Employment Program began as an opportunity for Lake County youth to gain foundational job skills and put some money in their pocket too," said Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor. "With the strong support of the County Board, the Summer Youth Employment Program provides a greater opportunity to more young people than ever before.  Ensuring Lake County continues to have a highly talented workforce tomorrow is strengthened by every youth who completes the Summer Youth Employment Program today." 

Lake County Workforce Development will begin accepting applications for next year's Summer Youth Employment Program in February, pending County Board approval. For more information on this program and other workforce development opportunities, please visit the Lake County Job Center website



Eva Locke
Lake County Workforce Development

Phone: 847-377-3456