Hillsborough County summer jobs program gives paid, on-the-job training to young people

Career Source Tampa Bay's summer jobs program returns this year with nearly 800 open opportunities for young folks looking to kick-start their potential careers.

Young workers ages 16-24 can get real-world, hands-on experience at more than 100 local companies and non-profits.

Career Source says the process to sign up is pretty simple, through its website. However, the spots fill up fast.

It's a win-win for young workers and for companies that have been affected in the pandemic.

"The most important commodity is people, so if you’re losing people in a traditional fashion, how are you going to backfill that talent pipeline?" Career Source Tampa Bay CEO John Flanagan asked. 

He says the solution lies in younger adults who are ready to enter the workforce. The companies working with Career Source hope to build a career-focused workforce by growing the number of skilled workers.

"A lot of industries have individuals aging out and so this is a perfect opportunity to be able to train up the next generation of skilled workers within their organization," said Jennifer Wilson, the director of the Tampa Bay Summer Hires program. 

There are three programs available. Anyone who is chosen to be part of a program will be paid for on-the-job training.

For teens who are still in school, the Hillsborough County school district works with Career Source to allow students to attend the programs.

"This allows our students to get out of the classrooms off the couch during the summer and get into the community to figure out how they can get better," said Hillsborough County Superintendent Addison Davis. 

Since 2019, around 1,800 people have involved in the program. It runs from June 13 to July 22 and is on a first-come, first-served basis. To sign up, visit https://hires.careersourcetampabay.com/tampa-bay-hires/.

"It is an incredible program to our region as we work with the business community and help them identify and find and manage and take head on the talent issues they're going to face in the near future," Flanagan said.