About Zion Township’s
Summer Work Program (SWP)
Zion Township’s Summer Work Program (SWP) hires approximately 70-90 youth ages 14 and 15 for a six-week period during the summer. The youth are placed at different locations throughout the city in a wide variety of positions. Some examples of positions include outside maintenance work, light office clerical support, and daycare assistance. Because of their young age, youth are unable to use any power equipment while performing their duties and are scheduled to work three (3) hours per day for a total of fifteen (15) to twenty (20) hours per week.
This program enables youth to gain real life work experience, a sense of community, character education, knowledge of the application & hiring process, and how to manage money.
Although this is the youth’s job and we expect the youth to fill out their own application, get their own letter of recommendation, and call in sick for themselves, we realize the importance of keeping the parents informed and involved throughout the process. Because of this, it is mandatory for parents to attend an orientation with their youth that is held in the evening to accommodate parent’s work schedules. Parents will also be notified and consulted when disciplinary situations arise.
The outstanding contribution Zion Township made in helping our communities’ youth is by offering this program. The Summer Work Program has given our youth an opportunity to explore different job prospects, different fields of work, and has given them exposure to different organizations and community leaders in Zion. The most important lesson that most youth gain from this program is that it doesn’t just take having a job to get paid, you have to work in order to get paid. The SWP allows youths to embrace their community in a non-threatening atmosphere and encourages them to build relationships they may never have gotten the chance to. Most of all, this program encourages our youth to become responsible, productive, and proud people as they mature into society.
The SWP has been molded each session to reflect the growing and changing needs of our youth.
The SWP has had a huge positive impact in our community. It keeps over 70-90 14 and 15 year old youths occupied and focused on something positive during the summer. The program assists in forming working relationships between co-workers and youth, reducing the stigma that 14 and 15 year olds cannot be a productive member of an organization. It has given many youth a realistic idea of what they want to be when they grow up, and for some, it has given them a permanent job opportunity. The SWP has also taught youth what they don’t want to be when they grow up. And for some unfortunate youth, the program teaches consequences for disobeying the rules. All of these factors promote a healthier community. If we can teach our youth these skills early on, we will have a much higher percentage of productive youth joining our workforce in the near future.
Zion Township’s mission is compassionately challenge Zion Residents to overcome hardships and encourage positive life changes.” Because of this, we work hard to include programs for everyone in the community, including our youth.
For more information on Summer Work Program, please contact our Workforce Development Case Manager at 847-872-2811.