Seal of Little Rock

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2016

City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s): Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822

Summer Youth Employment Program Wins National Honor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (July 5, 2016) – The City of Little Rock’s innovative Summer Youth Employment Program, now in its 20thyear, has received a national honor from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola accepted the Outstanding Achievement City Livability Award at the group’s 2016 conference in Indianapolis. The awards program, sponsored by Waste Management, Inc., honors city governments for developing programs that enhance the quality of life in urban areas. Little Rock was one of four outstanding achievement recipients for cities with populations larger than 100,000.

“I am extremely proud of our Department of Community Programs for being the driving force behind this successful initiative. Each summer, hundreds of teens gain valuable career guidance along with a job, and our local economy gets a boost with these new members of the workforce as well,” Stodola said. “It’s a win for our community, for business, and for our youth.”

This is the second honor the Summer Youth Employment Program has received this past year. The first was a City of Distinction award from Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

The Summer Youth Employment Program began in 1996 has given youth between the ages of 16 to 21 the opportunities to learn about careers while earning a wage during the summer. In this program, private sector businesses and government at all levels partner with the City to offer positions for youth employees.  These partners work with the City and several community stakeholders to help the youth develop the critical skills necessary to be successful members of the workforce.

The program has grown in recent years to include summer workshops that focus on career readiness and college preparation.

“Our goal has always been to give our City’s youth plenty of opportunities to thrive,” Community Programs Director Dana Dossett said. “These summer internships and crash courses help them develop the skills they need right now to lay the foundation for successful futures.”

Close to 700 youth interns are working this summer at nearly 120 businesses and organizations in the area.