EIt's graduation time and high school and college graduates are having to struggle more than ever to compete for good jobs.
In April 2009, Gov. Jay Nixon announced the launching of the Next-Generation Jobs program that is designed to help young entrepreneurs, ages 16 to 24, find summer internships across the state so they can develop work experience.
"To create new jobs and turn this economy around, we must ensure that Missouri has highly trained, highly skilled workers who are ready to compete for the careers of tomorrow," Gov. Nixon said. "Our Next-Generation Jobs Team will help young Missourians identify emerging careers in high-growth, high-tech industries, and they'll spend a summer gaining experience that will give them a leg up on the competition. At the same time, we'll help Missouri employers develop a pool of talent here in our state to meet their needs for educated and qualified workers. I encourage young Missourians and employers alike to take advantage of this opportunity to build the workforce that will lead our economy into the future."
According to a news release from the governor's office, "Mentors with the Missouri Department of Economic Development's local Workforce Investment Boards will help youth identify career fields of interest and place young people with appropriate employers in the area. The young Missourians will then spend the summer gaining on-the-job training and work experience, along with continued guidance and support from professional career counselors. Wages for the young workers will be funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
Some next-generation employers include ABC Laboratories, Burns & McDonnell, BJC Health System and Watts Radiant.
"ABC Laboratories is a product development partner. We deliver the science necessary for our customers to develop environmentally safe products that improve human and animal health," Byron E. Hill, ABC's president and CEO, said. "This summer, we look forward to providing opportunities for young people in the area to gain real-life job experience. They'll have the opportunity to learn about science and about business, and we'll benefit from their energy and enthusiasm. ABC is happy to participate in this program because it not only benefits the young people, but will also strengthen the regional economy by helping to train Missouri's future workforce. This is a win-win for Missouri and for ABC Laboratories."
Young Missourians and potential employers can apply for the program by clicking the Next-Generation Jobs Team graphic at www.mo.gov or by calling 1-800-592-6020. The program runs from May 1 to Sept. 30, and there is no application fee.
"Summer's almost here, and we're ready to get this program up and running," Gov. Nixon said. "Young Missourians should move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity to jumpstart their careers."