Employing the Youth of Newark

Sixteen years old is a landmark age for many teens. It is the age when many seek employment and learn skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, high rates of unemployment is recent years have made it difficult – if not impossible – for teens to get a job. One man who is trying to change this is Kevin Seawright.

Seawright is the Chief Financial Officer at the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. The Newark CEDC has gathered together city figures and organization’s to create the Summer Youth Employment Plan in New Jersey. This year, 2016, is the first time applicants to the program will be able to apply online. The summer program seeks to give gainful employment to teens in the city. Additionally, members of the program will have access to onsite training, lectures and lessons on finances, and courses to prepare for college.

Thanks to the online application, teens are able to sign up for the program in a shorter amount of time than in years past. Seawright therefore hopes to raise the number of teens employed from 3,000 to 3,500. Shortly after opening the application, 350 students had already signed up, and Seawright anticipates the number to rise even more.

The employment program is lucky to have found partners in Santander and TD Bank. The banks hope that students will use their earnings from summer jobs to open checking and savings account and learn financial responsibility.

There are many benefits to holding a summer job during the teenage years. Newark hopes that employing teens will positively affect college admission and graduation rates. Holding a job teaches teens responsibility and people skills that are valuable lessons to have during college and in professional situations after. Seawright told LocalTalkNews that he believes in the value of the Summer Youth EMployment Plan, and hopes it will educate and empower the next generation of working professionals.  Follow Kevin Seawright on social media, and especially on Twitter for his unique takes.