Young adults learn valuable skills and training through OLHSA program


Young adults learn valuable skills and training through OLHSA program
Summer Youth Employment Program offers experiences helpful when entering the workforce

July 27, 2015 - Pontiac, Mich. – For a fourth consecutive summer OLHSA, A Community Action Agency, is providing 80 Pontiac young adults with the opportunity to build their resumes while gaining valuable employment-related experience through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

“Our goal with the Summer Youth Employment Program is to provide participants with the experiences needed to develop the attitude, skills and commitment necessary to succeed in today’s workforce,” said Jason Blanks, deputy director of organizational development at OLHSA.

SYEP began at OLHSA in June 2011. Every year the program starts with the collection of applications and referrals from liaisons at various schools in Pontiac. Candidates, all aged 16-19, are then assessed for eligibility and interviewed to determine compatibility with the program. Once chosen, participants work three days per week on enhancement projects in local and regional parks. The 16-week program is funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Improvements this year’s participants have made include the installation of park signs, invasive species removal, clearance of more than 500 pounds of debris from dumping or general trash areas, planting of trees and shrubs, construction of picnic tables, cleaning of grills and painting of park equipment.

Benefits of the program don’t stop when the workday is done. Participants also learn interviewing and networking skills through weekly job clubs, take advantage of free tutoring and attend tours of local colleges and area businesses. 

“This is my second year with the program and I really enjoy working with my supervisors. They truly push us to do our best,” said Rahkim Williams, 18. “The best part about SYEP is knowing that while it’s making a difference in my life, I am making a difference in my community.”

For more information about the Summer Youth Employment Program, contact Jason Blanks at 248.209.2795.

About OLHSA:
OLHSA is a Community Action Agency improving the quality of life for people facing crisis while strengthening families, communities, seniors and youth since 1964. Over 178,000 services were provided in 2014 in the pursuit of helping people and changing lives.

Media Contact: Amy Lafnear | 586.219.1557 |