“Eye-opening,” “challenging,” “fantastic,” “unexpected,” “enlightening,” “fun,” and “unpredictable!” These are a few of the adjectives that our CYC Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates students used to describe their experiences while participating in the JCG Summer Work Experience Opportunity (SWEO).

In sum, 29 young adults started the program, and 26 completed the intensive 8-week career study in a field of their choice. Student hours added up to approximately 5,000 in total, and funding from the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board (SWORWIB) made it possible for the students to earn $10 per hour while participating.

The program served as a vehicle for introducing these participants to an actual workplace environment, responsibilities, and the comradery necessary for goal achievement in their specific jobs. It also provided exposure to occupational areas of interest as well built-in opportunities for transferable skills. The SWEO was specifically designed to increase career awareness and to position these young adults to make better career choices.

Each Friday, SWEO students were able to participate in a series of topics and reflections conducted by local businesses and relevant to personal and professional success. Topics included: Structured Program Goal Setting (Wesley Community Services), Financial Literacy (Citi Bank), SMART Goals (Social Media Awareness and Responsibility Training), All the Options (Ohio Means Jobs Center – College, Industry Certificates, Apprenticeships, On-the-Job Training, Etc.), Entrepreneurship (Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative), and The New YOU! & Post Test.

At the program’s culmination, SWEO participants, site partners, reflection guest speakers, and CYC/JCG staff gathered for the End of Program event to celebration the completion of this remarkable milestone.

The following students were honored at the event for this achievement: Daniel Barnes, Stephanie Barnes, Jalah Belser, Marquise Brown, Keevin Burton, Elizabeth Crowell, Antwone Gary, Precious Gary, Melissa Hunter, Diamond Johnson, Chardonea Kernall, Christian Kornegay, Hieu Lieu, Sidny Maley, Norriah Plummer, Dominique Porter, Krishna Powdyel, Jerrica Richmond, Shanice Smith, Lanaya Steele, Darius Thomas, Brianna Turner, Chariah White, and Alexis Williams.

Of these remarkable young adults, three were hired on at the end of the program, and another two were offered positions, but will be going to college out-of-town.

SWEO site participating partners were 3CDC, Art Beyond Boundaries, Boys and Girls Club, Cincinnati Cooks, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati Police Department (Explorer Program), the Community Learning Center, Forest Park Fire Department, Koye Eugene Allen Landscaping, Nanny’s Multi-Level Learning Center, Oak Pavilion Nursing Center, Saber Comm, SPCA, State Farm Insurance, and Wesley Community Services.