Business Escambia County

Escambia County introduces Youth Employment Program

May 5, 2017

Applications are now being accepted for the new Escambia County Youth Employment Program, which will provide opportunities for youth to get paid work experience in various county departments.

Qualified youth who are accepted into ECYEP will be able to work up to 20 hours a week at $8.10 per hour, and will also receive job readiness training prior to job placement.

Limited positions are available. Requirements for the program are as follows:

-Must be age 16-20
-Must live in Escambia County, Florida
-Family household income must meet income criteria (200 percent or below 2017 Poverty Level Guidelines)

Applications can be downloaded here or picked up during normal business hours at 221 S. Palafox Place, 4th floor reception desk. Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. Monday, May 22 at the same location. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information, please call 595-0457 or visit the Youth Employment Program page.

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  • CJ Lewis May 8, 2017 at 10:53 am

    When the board discussed this program, there seemed too much collective confusion as to why they were doing it, how they were doing it and the desired outcome. The meandering discussion had an ad hoc “knee-jerk” quality about it. Not mentioned here is that the program will use a random lottery to select people if there are too many applications. Today’s PNJ reports that there are 40 funded slots. Because participation is based on county residency, the fairest approach would be to allocate eight slots for each of the five commission districts. It is hard to see how the commissioners could take issue with that approach given the abundance of poverty in all five districts. It will be interesting to see if anyone actually tracks the paths of the 40 people selected and reports how many became county employees, using the term “county” in a broader sense to include working for the Sheriff’s Office, ECUA, ECAT, a constitutional officer, etc. A different and much more focused effort would have been to limit the applicants to students about to enter their senior years and who were highly motivated towards working for some facet of county government after graduation. The program being put in place is based on poverty status not merit. A merit-based program might include a civics aspect teaching students about the many facets of county government followed by two internships in different positions. In truth, few citizens have any idea how much is done by “county” government. The County Administrator who is the CEO of the county could then create a list of all program participants who met the requirements of the program to include a positive review from county staff. Each person on the list would be given priority in the county’s hiring process upon successful graduation form high school and staying out of trouble. A student on the list anticipating a good job right after graduation is likely to be a highly-motivated student. Throughout the senior year, there might be some activities to keep the participants motivated towards working towards the county and better informed about emerging opportunities and career paths. To attract the best candidates as future county employees, the summer program could be made full-time and pay more than the minimum wage. Program graduates who become county employees might even be offered financial help to attend college part-time.