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New Youth Works! program launches to increase opportunities for Ramsey County youth

Ramsey County Workforce Solutions is excited to announce the launch of Ramsey County Youth Works!, a 2020 initiative that brings together employers, schools, workforce development and employment professionals, elected officials, educators and more, to raise awareness and open doors of opportunity for youth to learn, earn and lead in their communities.

Stakeholders have committed to leveraging their connections to promote opportunities for personal, social and education development, leadership and employment that enables youth to develop their voice, influence and place in society to reach their full potential. This campaign is being launched in partnership with the Ramsey County Workforce Innovation Board, the Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative and the Sundance Foundation.

Ramsey County Workforce Solutions Director, Ling Becker, emphasized the importance of connecting community partners around this effort. “The value for the community when youth receive work, volunteer and internship experiences is critical for their long-term success,” stated Becker. “The experiences form a critical foundation for our young residents. We are grateful for the many stakeholders who are stepping up to call attention to this message.”

Efforts in this first year of Youth Works! include a number of activities and events such as a new bi-monthly newsletter, a directory of youth employment programs and supports, and a toolkit of resources for employers. Events coming in 2020 include a youth voice summit, an educator and employer connection event, and a panel for employers on best-practices for hiring and retaining youth and young adult employees. These activities will culminate in a newly designated June Youth Works! Month and recognition of Youth Employers and Supervisors of Choice nominated by youth working in Ramsey County.

Mary Sue Hansen, Director of the Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative (SRFC) noted, “This is important work that the county and SRFC are leading. There are many gaps and barriers that youth struggle with when trying to find quality volunteer and work-related experiences.  All of us can play a role in opening doors of opportunity for our youth.”

If you are interested in learning more about this initiative or getting involved, please see Youth Works! or contact Rachael Molenaar.

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2020 - 7:11 a.m.