What Can the White House Teach You About Summer Hiring?

summer hiring

Are you starting to think ahead to summer hiring? Maybe you own a seasonal business that needs more staffers in the summer — or maybe you’re just thinking summer could be a good time to hire some students and get energetic young employees at a reasonable rate.

As you look for summer workers, millions of youth are also looking for summer employment — and coming up short. That’s why the White House has launched its new Summer Opportunity Project.

Summer Hiring Help

The goal of the Summer Opportunity Project is twofold: first, to help young people make the transition from school year to summer by finding productive activities; and second, to prepare them for adult life by providing their first exposure to the workplace and building their skills and experience for future careers.

Last year, nearly 46 percent of young people who applied for summer jobs were turned down, the White House reports. Low-income students, in particular, face a summer “opportunity gap” as they go through summer without the support systems they normally enjoy from schools. The White House has dubbed this group “Opportunity Youth” and they’re the focus of the Summer Opportunity Project.

The Summer Opportunity Project will coordinate the efforts of agencies, businesses and local governments to help students find opportunities during the summer. For example, LinkedIn has committed to working with small and midsized businesses in 72 cities to connect them with places where they can find young people for summer jobs. Other partners include the National Summer Learning Association, which will work with local organizations to serve young people looking for summer jobs. In addition, several major corporations, including Starbucks, have committed to hiring opportunity youth, as CNN reports.

At a White House workshop launching the project, the administration named nine “Champions of Change” for summer opportunities:

  • Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network;
  • Bill Hanawalt, executive director of the Peace Community Center in Tacoma, Washington;
  • Alec Lee, co-founder and executive director of Aim High in the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • Victor Francisco Lopez, founder of Learners Chess in Albuquerque, New Mexico;
  • Laura Huerta Migus, executive director of the Association of Children’s Museums in Arlington, Virginia;
  • Riya Rahman, a senior political science student at Baylor University who works with the Texas Hunger Initiative and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign;
  • Lauren Reilly, program director at Practice Makes Perfect in New York;
  • Olis Simmons, founding President and CEO of Youth UpRising,  in East Oakland, California;
  • Beth A. Unverzagt, director of OregonASK.

If you live in any of these areas, you can reach out to these individuals for help connecting with youth seeking summer opportunities. In other areas, take the first step toward hiring opportunity youth by:

  • Contacting local high schools and colleges in low-income areas or that serve disadvantaged youth,
  • Reaching out to local youth programs targeting low-income or at-risk youth,
  • Asking your city business and government organizations about local programs to help hire opportunity youth.

Hiring disadvantaged youth pays off both for you and for them — as well as for our community as a whole. Why not get involved?

White House Photo via Shutterstock

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.