SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The former Hire-a-Youth summer jobs program in San Diego is now known as Connect2Careers, city leaders announced Tuesday.
Mayor Bob Filner and council members called on business owners to hire youths for the summer.
"This is an investment in our city,'' Filner said at a news conference after the council approved of a resolution in support of the name change. "This is an absolute necessity for a major city to do.''
Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said Connect2Careers will focus on San Diego's major industries -- tourism, military and innovation, such as the area's biotech firms.
"Connect2Careers provides a way for businesses to give back while helping to train our emerging workforce, which is critical to growing our local economy," Lightner said. "You simply can't compete in the global economy if you don't have a world-class workforce."
Phil Blair, chairman of the San Diego Workforce Partnership -- which runs Connect2Careers -- said summer work was a great way for youths to be exposed to industries that interest them and, just as important, discover that they don't like certain jobs as much as they thought they would.
Council President Todd Gloria said he spent a summer working for the county Health and Human Services Agency when he was growing up.
He said youths gain professional skills, get increased confidence, earn a paycheck and contribute to the community through such jobs.
The city spent $200,000 in November to save the youth jobs program, which was in danger of closing because of a lack of funding, according to Lightner. Job placement efforts will be focused on people 16-21 years old. Connect2Careers employees also will provide job-readiness training, as well as help writing resumes and getting ready for interviews.
Worker applications are due by April 15. Forms can be downloaded at workforce.org/news/connect2careers.
Those interested in hiring a teenager or young adult can reach Connect2Careers by calling (619) 228-2945, or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.