Program gives teens head start on summer employment

(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) -The City of Myrtle Beach is helping local teenagers and young adults kick start their professional careers.

The city is working with the S.C. Department of Commerce to offer an eight-week Job Readiness program. The program is open to anyone between the ages of 15 and 20. It offers training in skills essential to attaining a job, such as interviewing, writing applications, and personal presentation. All participants who complete the program are also guaranteed a job at one of more than a local dozen businesses taking part in the program.

Timothy McCray has worked to help teens get summer jobs through the Job Readiness Program for years, and he says it’s not just about helping kids make extra cash. “It changes some of their demeanor. And some of their ways at looking at life because now they have something to look forward to.” He says participants can also use many of the skills they learn in the college application process. “Giving hem that first understanding of ‘hey, here’s what it could take me to once I learn these skills and how to deal with interviewing, how to deal with people, customer service,” says McCray.

Devin Treat is the general manager of Wild, Water and Wheels, in Surfside Beach, which is one of the businesses working with the program. He says he has benefited from job mentoring programs himself. “I had a goal in mind and I think that’s one of the biggest things they need to understand is have goals that are achievable. And do what you can to get to those.”

Treat says teens can learn crucial information through the program that they’re not learning in school. He credits his own career mentor, Don Weaver, who now coordinates the program.“I don’t think there’s enough going on in school right now to get people prepared for the job world. And he’s one of those people who goes out of his way to teach the kids real life experience, and things they need to know.” Along with values like hard work, honesty and determination, Trent says he also like to instill in his teen employees,“Do something that you like to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”