Teens in Opa-locka will be able to find employment this summer through a jobs program designed for them.
City commissioners, at their May 14 meeting, approved a measure to have the city manager implement a summer hiring initiative.
The agenda item, sponsored by Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley, is designed to give residents ages 14-18 the opportunity to stay productive during the summer months.
“Most of your summer programs capture college students, but you don’t have anything for teenagers,” Kelley said. He recalled a time when he was younger and there were more programs like the one he’s supporting for teens. “Jobs are one of the things I focus on in our community.”
This will be the program’s second year and he’s hoping it will be as much a success as last year’s.
“People have already began calling about the program,” he said. “Many parents from last year have called again.”
Kelley said each youth will gain valuable employment seeking knowledge as each will go through the application and interview process. The program tries to match the students with their interests.
“They get to see how the real workforce is,” Kelley said.
Kelley added that jobs will not be contained to city employment only and that he’s working with businesses in the community to join the program and offer summer jobs. He hopes to have the program run until August, but at this point in the planning process he could not confirm. Residents can call Kelley’s office at 305-953-2801 for more information on the hiring process.
“They can earn some money and pay for their own school clothes,” Kelley said. “I like that they can make some money, but also that they can see how the real work force works.”
In other business from May 14:
• Commissioners approved allowing City Manager Kelvin Baker to secure grant funds so the city can acquire a digital signage network. The signs will serve to keep residents abreast of announcements, events and news from the city.
Mayor Myra Taylor said this is a part of progress of Opa-locka and an overall plan to improve the city’s appearance.
“Digital signage is a part of the vision of Opa-locka,” she said. “It shows what’s happening, so people can’t say ‘I don’t know.’ ”
• Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc. will open a new full-service children’s wellness center in November in the Logan Executive Building in Opa-locka. President and CEO Annie Neasman announced to the commissioners that the center will focus on combating childhood obesity and nutrition.