For many teens, YouthWorks, a state-funded youth employment program, is their first job opportunity. PSW is fortunate to be able to offer this program to teens in Framingham who meet both age and income requirements. Once enrolled in the program, the young adults attend workshops to practice the skills they need to be successful in the workplace, including soft skills like professional behavior and understanding employer expectations. PSW’s Career Specialist then places the youth in jobs in Framingham and continues to support them throughout their six-week employment.

Students working at Chocolate Therapy cut and package chocolates.

The first day at any new job is an adjustment, and for these young adults it was no different. Joshuah Marte, working as a camp counselor at The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metrowest, learned a good life lesson, “I’ve learned you need to have a lot of patience to see results from kids. I’ve learned how to be strict when I need to, and go with the flow when I need to.” One of Josh’s co-workers, Wide Marc Line, passed along another life lesson, “Even if I have a bad day, I don’t show it to the kids.” Also working with children in a position for the Framingham Public Schools, Amanda DeOliveira says she “learned new ways to talk to children when they are upset, and how to be patient and compromise”

Students packed lunches at FHS Food Services to serve hundreds of youth across the city.

At Framingham High School Food Services, students are packing lunches for multiple camps in the city. Anne Danielle Aka said she learned to use the sandwich-wrapping machine and now works with her fellow student, Ariamshelly Ortiz, to pack lunches, sometimes more than 400, for campers on a daily basis. “I have to work fast but be attentive and careful,” says Anne Danielle, and Shelly added, “Communication and team work are very important.”

Diego Morrissey, working with the Framingham Conservation Commission learned the importance of taking initiative. “You can’t always wait to be told what to do. In some cases you need to take initiative and work on other things instead of just standing and waiting for direction. It makes the supervisors realize you are there to work and just fool around.”

Students visit the FHS vegetable garden. Produce from the garden is used all year by Food Services.

Christian Espana’s position allowed him to experience many “firsts.” “Since my second day I have been to multiple museums, visited presidential houses, art museums, and two Ivy League universities. I’ve met politicians and engineers. My work at the MetroWest College Planning Center has been varied and exciting too, as I created and led games and activities in addition to all the trips. I think this experience and the people I met will help me get an internship in the future.”

It may have been a first job, but these young adults learned life skills: patience, compromise, teamwork, and how and when to take initiative. As a building block for their future, these teens took a giant step toward understanding the real world of work. At PSW, that’s our mission.

 

This project is funded by the YouthWorks program  through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The program is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.