TeenQuest Graduates Interview with Employers

(FLINT, MICH.) Summer jobs are not always easy to find, but today hundreds of TeenQuest graduates had an opportunity to gain summer employment at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) Job Fair.  The event took place at Baker College of Flint in the Student Center.

Graduates of TeenQuest, a free afterschool pre-employment and leadership program of the Regional Chamber were eligible to participate in the SYI Job Fair.  SYI helps participating teens prepare for and connect to job opportunities.

“It’s a win-win for the community and for businesses in the region to provide access to a well-qualified talent pool ready for summer employment through TeenQuest and SYI,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber.  “We are incredibly proud of our TeenQuest graduates.  They make excellent employees and employers tell us they look forward to hiring well-prepared student employees at the Job Fair every year.”

For-profit employers are eligible for a 50 percent match of the students’ salary for the first 90 days of employment.  Nonprofits compete for funding to pay 100 percent of employing the students.

According to Dr. Josha Talison, Superintendent of Beecher Community Schools the ability to hire students from SYI each year provides a valuable service to the community.

“Working through SYI is extremely beneficial for our student employees,” said Dr. Talison.  “Our employees learn leadership skills and gain valuable work experience.  SYI provides a necessary and important service for the students, our schools and the community at large.  We are happy to participate in the program again this year.”

“The number of TeenQuest graduates working in the community continues to increase,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Group Vice President of Operations and Employer Education and Training Connection for the Regional Chamber. “By participating in TeenQuest and SYI, our students get invaluable preparation that sets them on a path to become the tomorrow’s leaders.  The employers who participate in the job fair appreciate the ability to choose from among highly prepared students for their summer positions.”

Last year, over 400 teens were employed through SYI at 24 nonprofits and businesses in Flint and Genesee County.

TeenQuest is a free after-school pre-employment and leadership program for teens ages 14 -18 designed to teach students the basics of teamwork, business etiquette, work ethics, communication, goal setting and conflict resolution. The six-week program is offered year-round and is a pre-requisite for SYI participation.

For more information about TeenQuest or SYI contact Paul Stainbrook at (810) 600-1413 or pstainbrook@flintandgenesee.org.

About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (www.flintandgenesee.org) is the voice of business and community advocacy in Genesee County. The Regional Chamber is over 100 years old, was established before the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Two words describe the Regional Chamber as it enters its second century of service: collaboration and partnership. It is our goal to work with government, business, education and nonprofit organizations to support the growth and development of the community economically, culturally and socially.

About the Summer Youth Initiative and TeenQuest

The Summer Youth Initiative is a program that helps Flint-area teens find paid summer jobs. It’s open to students who’ve completed the TeenQuest afterschool program, which provides pre-employment and leadership training to students ages 14 to 19 to help them succeed in college and the 21st century workplace. Both programs are administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. To apply or learn more, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.