Teens and young adults often struggle getting that first job.
Their resumes might lack clarity. The occupations they seek could be highly competitive. If they haven’t taken a course in interview prep, they’re often flummoxed when coming face-to-face with employers.
Now imagine other hurdles exist: For instance, the job seekers have been homeless for months.
A local employment agency wants to lower those barriers by spearheading a regional internship program.
The pilot project will have 10 slots each in Portsmouth and Chesapeake this summer, targeted at people ages 16 to 21. Organizers with Opportunity Inc., the regional workforce development entity, modeled the initiative on summer jobs programs operated by local governments.
“We were looking at how to aid our youth,” Christina Brooks, director of youth services with the agency, told me. “We thought this was a gap we could assist” with.
Opportunity Inc. contacted me, in part, because it wanted to reach more applicants before the March 31 deadline. Public and private organizations are the employers, from the city of Chesapeake to a security company. Interns will earn $8 an hour and work 20 hours a week, over nine weeks. Would-be interns must live in Portsmouth or Chesapeake.
To find out more, go to myyouthcareercenter.org and click on the prompt for the 2018 NextGen Regional Internship Program. Or call 757-233-8686. The agency, its nonprofit arm and community sponsorships will fund the project.
Read the full article on PilotOnline.com or view it in the print version of The Virginian-Pilot.
WAVY 10 | February 26, 2018
By: News Staff
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Opportunity Inc. and the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads are holding an event later this week to help teens and young adults with employment, volunteer and post-secondary education opportunities.
The NextGen Opportunity Fair will be held Thursday, March 1, at the Chesapeake Conference Center from 6-8 p.m.
The fair will feature more than 50 area businesses and organizations, and it’s free for teens and young adults ages 16-24 — as well as vendors.
If you’re looking for work, you’re encouraged to bring copies of your resume.
Also, dress to impress and be prepared for interviews onsite.
Participating businesses and organizations include: AAA Pools, Autobell, GameStop, Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast, Jimmy Johns, Norfolk State University, Ocean Breeze, Regent University, Sentara Healthcare, The Virginia Zoo, Waffle House, YMCA, among several other vendors.
This article can be found on WAVY.COM
The Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads is hosting the Hampton Roads Regional NextGen Opportunity Fair.
13 News Now, February 22, 2018
By: News Staff
This video and the accompanying article can be found online on 13 News Now.
The Virginian Pilot, October 31, 2017
By Briana Adhikusuma
Creating the perfect pitch will land up to five businesses $500 each in startup funds.
Opportunity Inc.’s Youth Career Center recently launched its inaugural Hampton Roads Virtual Pitch Competition as part of its Youth Entrepreneurship Summit on Oct. 18.
The only requirements are that the applicant be between the ages of 14 and 24 and live in one of these eight localities: Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County or Southampton County. Student status is not a requirement and teams can apply together for one business.
The application and submission process is at MyYouthCareerCenter.org – making the competition completely virtual.
Andrea Grant, senior director of youth initiatives and community affairs at Opportunity Inc., said the decision to make the competition virtual was based on allowing applicants to have the ability to submit businesses whenever they were ready within the acceptance period.
Christina Brooks, director of youth services at the Youth Career Center, said the virtual aspect also encourages applicants to hone their pitches to fit an online environment.
“Our youth are in the virtual age where the way that they reach their customers will be virtually. So they need to learn how to have a virtual presence,” she said. “We’ve been working with young entrepreneurs for years. One of the barriers that our young entrepreneurs come across is getting the funds to help start up their business.”
The business submissions can still be in the prototype development stage, and applicants will have to answer questions such as who their competitors are, who their target customer is and what problem their product or service solves for a customer – all in a two-minute-long video pitch.
Judges will meet several times over December to view the pitches and discuss applicants. The deadline to submit a business is 5 p.m. Dec. 1; the five winners will be announced sometime after Dec. 15.
This article can be found in print and online on Inside Business.
Chesapeake Economic Development March Newsletter: March 8, 2017
The Suffolk News-Herald, March 9, 2017
Opportunity Inc. and the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads hosted the fifth annual Hampton Roads Regional NextGen Opportunity Fair – previously known as the Teen Summer Opportunity Fair — on March 2.
More than 700 youth filled the Chesapeake Conference Center to receive information on employment, volunteer, and post-secondary education opportunities. This year, the fair had a record of more than 75 vendors participating.
“The Youth Career Center launched this fair in 2012 to promote job readiness for teens and young adults, and each year we are thrilled to see an increased interest from both employers and attendees,” said Shawn Avery, president and chief executive officer of Opportunity Inc.
“We are committed to preparing the emerging workforce for jobs in our region, and this event provides us with a great opportunity to connect employers with the next-generation talent.”
The fair was sponsored by the city of Chesapeake and Chesapeake R U Ready, and welcomed businesses, educational institutions and organizations across the region seeking to hire new talent. The fair was free for teens and young adults ages 16-24, as well as vendors.
Representatives from employers including Farm Fresh, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Sonic, LTD Hospitality and others too part.
“Through our Youth Career Center, we provide resources and services aimed at ensuring the teens and young adults we serve are well-prepared for the fair,” said Andrea Harrell, senior director of youth initiatives and community affairs for Opportunity Inc.
“We assist with everything from resume development to mock interviews, so it is very rewarding to share in the excitement of their first job offer.”
Several employers took advantage of the interviewing room made available at the fair and hired youths on the spot.
More than 700 youth attend fair
Coastal Connections, February 26, 2017
Andrea Harrel and Christinia Brooks discuss the NextGen Opportunity Fair, watch the full interview here.
By: Alexa Manful
WAVY TV10, February 14, 2017
[ Watch the full interview with Andrea Harrel and Christinia Brooks here. ]
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Christina Brooks and Andrea Harrell from the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads and Opportunity Inc visited The Hampton Roads Show to tell us about their NextGen Opportunity Fair.
NextGen Opportunity Fair
Thursday, March 2
6pm to 8pm
Chesapeake Convention Center
Youth Career Center
TCC Virginia Beach
Princess Anne Building
Suite A – Room 100A
This segment of the Hampton Roads Show sponsored by the Youth Career Center.
WCTV, February 15, 2017
To watch the clip click here then click the “WCTV Now” button and locate the 48News broadcast from February 15th. The clip starts at 2:17.