The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program was started in 1998 with 33 youth under the Weed & Seed Initiative, a Law Enforcement Grant, under the U.S. Department of Justice. In the early years, all of the participants lived in the Weed & Seed target area of South Norwalk. Today the mayor’s summer youth employment program has expanded its reach; has provided employment opportunities for approximately 1,600 young people (unduplicated) from all over the City, and contributed nearly 400,000 hours to the City’s workforce.
In an effort to maintain the original intent of the program and meet funding criteria, a majority of the households of our participants remain within the low to moderate income levels. Today, the program continues to make significant strides to provide and improve this much needed opportunity for Norwalk youth, such as the 60+ organizations that partner with to provide meaningful work experience, the required job etiquette training and the SAT Prep/College program offered to participants as part of the program.
Fairfield County's Community Foundation (FCCF) hosts two interns through Summer Youth Employment Program
is to provide Norwalk's future workforce opportunities to:
Learn and develop the skills, attitudes, and commitment necessary to succeed in today’s working world;
Gain exposure to various career industries;
Interact with professionals/adults in a positive work environment;
Instill positive work ethics and life skills that will last a lifetime;
Gain a greater awareness of their individual strengths and challenges, and
Acquire the tools necessary to continue the journey into adulthood as productive, contributing members of our society.
The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program prepares youth ages 14-18 for a job via pre-employment workshops and matches them with employment opportunities where they can explore a profession, learn a skill, learn to navigate in a business environment, contribute to the community, and earn money. The program operates for six weeks in July and August. Youth workers work up to 25 hours per week and earn minimum wage.
Before youth are assigned to a worksite, they spend one week in intensive workshops learning appropriate business behavior, business dress and employer expectations.