Feel Good Friday: Teen Workforce Program Empowers Teens in New Jersey
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
TD SYNNEX and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast has partnered to launch Teen Workforce, the first pilot program that will engage, encourage, and empower teens career exploration. Ten students were selected to participate in the pilot program which launched in March at the Gloucester, New Jersey location.
In this developmental program, students work five days a week, are compensated hourly, receive a scholarship at the completion of the program, and learn valuable skills needed for their future careers. Some of the skills each student will gain over the course of this program include how to utilize information technology and warehouse management in a corporate setting.
Gerald Hodges, Director of Programs, has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of Gloucester for nearly 15 years and has led this program since its inception earlier this year. Hodges recounts the magnitude of impact this unique collaboration is causing on the lives of teens throughout multiple communities.
“The generosity and growth [of the community] I have witnessed during this program are greater than I could have imagined,” said Hodges. “Witnessing kids overcome barriers and truly enjoy the work they are completing is deeply fulfilling.”
While students add skills to their resume, they also learn about money management. “Watching the students receive their first check was a teachable moment,” Hodges acknowledged. “This led to discussing taxes and budgeting. One student even decided to gift his first paycheck to his grandmother as a ‘thank you’ for all that she has done to support him.”
During a time when companies are struggling to maintain a workforce and teens who attend local Boys & Girls Clubs are looking for future career possibilities, this program will help bridge the gap, providing teens with employable skills to utilize upon graduation. Three seniors will graduate this year. All of whom have plans to continue their education this Fall with the support of their families. The program will enter its second session this summer and with more than 20 applications submitted, this program is slated to be a continued success.