In its second year, the City of Orange Beach’s summer youth work program for 14- and 15-year-olds is seeing positive results as young teens learn life skills.
The program has 30 teens helping seven City departments this summer.
Leading up to the program’s launch last year, Mayor Tony Kennon said, “We wanted to find ways to get these students working to build a stronger work ethic when traditionally most can’t work until they are 16. We feel this age of 14 and 15 is critical in not only keeping them busy this summer but teaching them skills and giving them an opportunity to earn a little money.”
The success of the first year, with 21 teens taking part, made the case to keep the program going.
“Two years ago when the concept first was presented by Mayor Kennon it fit with our Expect Excellence plans,” City Administrator Ken Grimes said. “Getting our youth involved in real work experience while they earn their first paychecks goes hand in hand. This truly gives the students exposure to work ethic, courtesy, discipline and respect, which is the mantra for our efforts the past few years.”
The summer youth program includes 11 teens working in Coastal Resources, one splitting time between the Legal Department and Human Resources, four in Logistics, six at the Recreation Center’s Expect Excellence summer program, two in Community Development, two at Camp Sunshine and four in Public Works, covering the sportsplex, mechanic shop and landscaping.
Tasks include landscaping, shoreline and trails cleanup, clerical work, junior trail ambassadorship, shorebird protection, and outdoor/indoor duties as needed.
The summer youth work program started June 3rd and ends August 9th.