For the 16th year, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is providing young people, ages 14 to 21 with work readiness skills training through targeted job matching to their career interests.
The program, which operates through the Baltimore City’s YouthWorks program at UMMC’s University and Midtown campuses, opened on Monday, June 25 with 70 interns undergoing a summer experience that officials said creates a lasting effect, including the opportunity for development of a detailed career path to college or the workplace.
“Each year we partner with the Mayor’s office, and this year we’re hosting 70 students, up from 65 last year, and they are placed within the various departments and given an opportunity to learn various skills,” said Samuel Burris, UMMC’s manager of community engagement.
“We realize that a lot of the students don’t have the essential skills, like how to conduct themselves, how to arrive on time or how to answer professional emails.”
Next year, Burris says that UMMC hopes to enlist as many as 80 students in the program.
To assist the young people in this year’s program, UMMC officials set aside one day to teach students the essential skills, which include financial literacy, public speaking and personal interaction.
“We want the students to be able to articulate in a professional and personal environment. It’s a holistic approach so the students not only have a summer experience work wise but they also learn the skills they need to become productive in their everyday lives,” he said.
After an application screening process where a panel from UMMC sifts through applicants, ages 14 to 21, students are interviewed and chosen for the coveted opportunity. They work 25 hours per week and are paid $10.10 per hour.
Dubbed, the “Summer to Prosper,” the program is a collaboration between YouthWorks, a summer jobs program sponsored by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and UMMC Office of Workforce Development and Community Partnership, which coordinates several other youth and adult-job training programs with government and private-sector organizations.
The five-week program, which runs from June 25 through July 27, 2018, begins with an orientation where 50 students are assigned to UMMC University Campus, 10 to UMMC Midtown Campus; and 10 to participate in the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare Fellows program, an internship for high school seniors that links them with local healthcare organizations for extensive training and mentoring in the field.
“UMMC’s participation in the program is part of a larger aim to reduce violence in school-aged children, increase student attendance and support school readiness initiatives by funding and working with area schools,” UMMC officials said in a news release.
Further, UMMC Future Workforce Program introduces youth to occupations in healthcare through internships, seminars, hospital tours and other programs.
“These youth-focused programs play a pivotal role in supporting the surrounding community,” said Burris, who as a young man, participated in the program.
“I am a Baltimore native and I participated when I was younger, and this program also helps to give young people an idea of what they want to do,” he said. “A lot of the students come from economically-challenged neighborhoods and so we look at how [to] provide opportunities for those students who live in our corridors.”
For more information about UMMC, visit www.umm.edu and for details about the YouthWorks summer employment program, visit: https://youthworks.oedworks.com/.