Training the future Kansas workforce.
That’s what an area program is doing but some say this is much more than just providing jobs.
“Wanting to feel more responsible,” says Aidan Alldaff. “Feeling, like, because I am 16 I want to feel more like an adult you know.”
Aldaff is a junior in high school. He needed some money to pay for his car last summer.
“I was nervous for sure,” he says.
“Aidan came in to take the workshop and didn’t quite know what to expect,” says Workforce Alliance Communications Director Angie Duntz.
What Aidan got was more than cash for a car payment.
“They had the learning class on ways that you can improve your interview skills,” he says.
“Soft skills financial management, and customer service,” adds Duntz.
Aidan’s decision to come to Workforce Alliance paid off.
“They said there was an opening for an internship with the Wichita business journal and I ended up getting the job,” he explains.
All youth 14 to 21 qualify for the program.
Last year Workforce Alliance helped more than 400 youth find summer jobs.
The goal this year is 1000.
“It is a major impact on our city and our state when we have kids that are working in the summertime,” says Youth Mentor William Polite.
Polite spends his time working with youth for Wichita Public Schools and after school at the Urban League.
For some youth Polite says these summer gigs are game changers.
“An idle mind is sometimes a dangerous mind,” he explains.
He says working a job can keep youth out of trouble and programs like these lower those risks.
“It helps me feel like ‘hey I am important. I am somebody. I don’t have to get involved in those things.'”