ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week marked the end of the empowering six-week Summer Youth Program with its 151 teen and young adult participants at Centennial Park. The Office of Workforce Development paid program focuses on teaching youth valuable job readiness skills and career exploration with local business partners.   

Our Summer Youth Program is a model for other communities on how to empower, train, prepare, and upskill our young residents who are looking to join the workforce. These young adults had the chance to learn key skills and gain a better understanding of the different career paths they may pursue. It’s critical that we support growth and hands-on experience for our future workforce and next generation to become their best selves.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The Summer Youth Program has grown exponentially in recent years, increasing from an average of 11 participants during the summer of 2018 to more than 82 in 2021. In 2020, County Executive Ball launched a virtual option for the Summer Youth Program to reach more young residents amid the pandemic.  

This summer, out of the 151 participants, about 50 were on-site daily at 16 different locations, including Howard County government departments and private companies. About 100 youth participated in Virtual Job shadowing, career readiness and employment preparation, which included a workshop each Friday to practice interviewing skills, mediation and conflict resolution, financial preparedness, and online safety.  

The youth in our summer program are the pipeline for our future workforce. This program provides the opportunity for young people to learn appropriate workplace behaviors as well as which careers may interest them. Just as importantly, they can experience what they do not want to do professionally.  Our goal is that they use what they learn for their future.

Francine Trout
Director, Office of Workforce Development

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