A summer employment program for youth in Hunterdon and Somerset counties is looking for interested employers to help provide paid internships for 30 young people in the two counties, as well as candidates to fill those positions.
In the summer of 2020, the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB) sponsored a successful Summer Youth Employment Program with funding from the New Jersey Department of Labor. On April 27, the GRWDB was awarded $82,500 in funding to run this summer program again in the two counties and is looking for employer and intern participants.
The program is set to run from June 7 to Oct. 31. In the program, each participant, who must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and can be in school or out of school, will work 25 hours per week over an eight-week period. Of that weekly total 21 hours will be for the employers; the other four hours per week will be spent doing different work-readiness training and coursework using the SkillUp Greater Raritan online learning portal.
In a second-round of deadlines for the program’s participants, employer applications are due by Wednesday, May 19, and student internship applications are due by Friday, May 21.
For the GRWDB Summer Youth Employment Program, any private or public employer in Hunterdon and Somerset counties with available remote or in-person part-time positions may apply to be part of the project. These can be outdoor employment opportunities and on-site job offerings that abide by CDC guidelines, as well as totally remote work opportunities. Employer applicants can be from any size company in the two counties; municipalities looking to fill summer recreational positions are welcomed to apply as are area nonprofits looking for office assistance.
The weekly workforce readiness training will be provided virtually by Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board staff and system partners, and interns will create their personalized learning plan using the thousands of courses available on SkillUp Greater Raritan. The intern’s stipend will be $12 an hour, per the requirements of the state program, for 25 hours per week for their eight-week internship/work experience. That means that each program participant will earn $2,400.
“We envision that based upon our employer responses, and the availability of our intern applicants, internships will begin the week of June 14, with staggered start times,” said Jeanne Cassano, the GRWDB’s job developer and coordinator for the GRWDB Summer Youth Employment Program. “We hope to provide the program’s internship participants with a variety of experiences that introduce them to the world of work, either virtually or in-person.”
The first employer Request for Applications (RFAs) for the program were due on May 5. Six different employers requested interns for a variety of on-site office support and outdoor recreation roles, including records management, nonprofit administration, facilities maintenance, office assistants and resident advisor opportunities.
A second round for RFAs opened May 7. Employers interested in applying can find the form on Somerset County’s Purchasing Division website and by going here. The deadline for applications is May 19.
As employer applications are coming in, the GRWDB is accepting separate applications from eligible in-school or out-of-school youth who must live in Hunterdon or Somerset counties, and be 16 to 24 years. The program aims to place up to 30 youth from the two counties who will be matched with the available positions. To obtain a downloadable internship application, click here. The extended deadline to return material is Friday, May 21.
“We are reaching out directly to employers, schools and everyone else we can think of to share news about this opportunity,” Cassano said. “We realize the applications are involved, but we are ready to answer your questions and provide whatever assistance we can. We want to ensure that our youth participants have a valuable summer work experience that sets them on lifelong career pathways, and that our employer participants get the work assistance they need during the summer months.”
Anyone with questions can contact Cassano at email@example.com or call 908-541-5785.