KILLEEN, Texas (June 5, 2023) – The City of Killeen has launched a new initiative, the Killeen Youth Empowerment Program, to help disadvantaged youth get paid work training and skills during the summer.
The summer employment session will host six youth for ten weeks from June 12 – Aug. 11, providing a job, financial empowerment skills and workplace readiness training.
The program is for those ages 14 to 17. Youth will be paid $12 an hour and will work no more than 20 hours a week.
“Exposing our at-risk youth to these skills and opportunities is priceless,” Morgan Hinton, Youth Program Manager, said. “I feel privileged to be able to open their eyes up to these resources and help them discover their talents and purpose.”
Training will consist of workshops that showcase professional development, quality customer service, polices and procedures, effective communication, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) training, conflict resolution, etc. Teens will be assigned to work one-on-one with a department, following a week of assessments and training to help properly place them.
The teens will receive evaluations and have a recognition ceremony at the end of the program.
The goal is to remain in contact with the students throughout the school year and reconnect with them during school breaks, although that portion is still in the planning phase. Another goal is to host a separate session with those ages 18-21 in the future.
City Council began discussing the Killeen Youth Empowerment Program in early 2022 to provide an experience for youth while they’re not in school to help fill their time gaps productively during the day. Council agreed with the goal of matching students with entry-level jobs in city government where they can benefit from a source of income and work experience, while gaining skills necessary for academic and professional success.
Council agreed the benefits of the program included a greater understanding of financial management, access to real-world experiences, improved interpersonal communications skills, career choice advice and guidance, positive adult role models, networking opportunities, resume building and interview practice.