Meaningful work experience for young individuals can set them up for better work opportunities for the rest of their life. 

Workplace experience is valuable for people just starting their careers, no matter what path they want to pursue. But these opportunities to get on-the-job experience are not easily available for all young people,  putting some at a disadvantage when it comes to finding a decent paying job. Paid job training programs for teenagers and young adults can help close that gap. 

Partner4Work, a workforce development organization, partnered with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh to address the issue through the Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment initiative. The program is a six-week summer job program for teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 in the Pittsburgh region. Participants have the opportunity to get paid while gaining work experience and developing soft skills to help prepare them for college and a career. 

Youth employment programs like Learn and Earn exist elsewhere – including a successful program Chicago