Summer Work Program

Summer Work Program
Posted on 09/28/2022
Photo of students who participated in LKSD Summer 2022 work program

LKSD's 2022 Summer Work Program gave 35 students a chance to gain valuable work experience and training during the summer. LKSD paid the student wages for up to 145 hours as well as their workers compensation. The ideal outcome is for students to gain permanent part-time employment.

The program covered essential soft skills such as: punctuality, appearance, and attitude. Students toured various potential employment locations in town and participated in mock interviews. Once students were placed at worksites, LKSD provided weekly 'learning lunches' where we explored different soft skills, such as communication, getting along with coworkers, and showing initiative. We provided every student the opportunity to showcase the positives of their workplace, so other students could hear what it was like to work there. Furthermore, as a group, the students tackled any concerns or problems they ran into while working that week.

Student hard at work

At the end of our 2022 program, six students were hired by their summer employers and five more loved their jobs so much they volunteered at their worksites until the end of summer. One of the final things we have students do is fill out a career plan that lists things they've learned about themselves over the summer. Their responses ranged from "I have to keep my eyes on the kids at all times to keep them safe," to "Working pays off and going to bed early helps," to "I am capable of many things."

Although our students gain so much through the program, I think our employers have benefited equally and absolutely adore the program! Every year we get requests from new employers to have our youth work for them through our program. Returning employers ask us months in advance "Are we going to have students this year?" and make comments like: "We love having LKSD students because we know you take the time to train them and they're ready for work."

We have numerous success stories over the years. One student has worked continuously for his employer at the grocery store for 5 years and others have been working for their employer for three years. We have had two students in the program who graduated, and then came back as peer mentors.

A special thanks to Zuly Pitre and Delilah Hodge for creating this program and providing so many opportunities to the students!

This article was originally published in the Fall 2022 "Alaska Interagency Transition Council Newsletter." 

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