"America's young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they've got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It's important for their future, and for America's…That's why today, we're launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America's youth"
As the White House and Department of Labor kick off the Summer Jobs+ program, we’d like to highlight another Drug Free Communities grantee helping young people find jobs: the Launch Youth Entrepreneurship Program based in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
The Launch is a community-based, 12-month Positive Youth Development program that seeks to empower youth by educating and engaging them in entrepreneurship, offering enriching alternatives to risky behavior, and promoting community development through the preparation and launch of summer businesses and work-based learning.
During the school year, community service opportunities, job shadowing, and skill development workshops with local business experts help young entrepreneurs prepare and plan for a summer business. Their summer business, Frosty Scoops ice cream stand, provides an opportunity to apply the skills they have learned in weekly workshops led by Community for Alcohol and Drug-Free Youth (CADY) staff, volunteers, and community experts. The Launch is the sole youth employment program in the region and since 2005, in collaboration with the Common Man Family of Restaurants, has provided paid summer employment to over 150 local youth.
The Launch Program is divided into three phases:
- Phase One (September – January): Youth explore personal skills, goal setting, communication skills, and teamwork through projects and community service.
- Phase Two (January – June): Youth learn the principles of best practices from local business experts and develop business skills that will help them succeed in the workplace and in their futures.
- Phase Three (Mid-June – August): Youth engage in paid summer employment, supported by the Common Man Family of Restaurants.
ONDCP congratulates CADY on the success of its Youth Entrepreneurship Program, which provides youth with the skills necessary to enter the workforce competent and drug-free. For more information, please visit CADY’s website.