Tackling Labor Shortage at The High School Level
Big Sky Economic Development’s (BSED) workforce development program, BillingsWorks will be implementing the Summer Jobs Program in Yellowstone County this upcoming summer. The Yellowstone County Summer Jobs Program matches participants with a job or paid internship, provides a paid foundational work skills training, and connects students with an adult mentor for the summer. SJP participants are high school students and recent graduates eager to develop their work skills and explore their career options. Participating area businesses (in all industries) and community organizations help strengthen the local economy by connecting youth to meaningful work experiences.
“We are excited to support our partners in Yellowstone County as they implement the Summer Jobs Program. We have seen success with this community-driven program in Helena, and we are eager to expand the program so more youth can access earn-and-learn opportunities,” Gabrielle Ekund Rowley, Executive Director of American Jobs for America’s Youth Montana.
Through the program, students gain skills, experience, and professional networks that prepare them for success in future endeavors. The work skills our students learn and practice serve them well both in and out of the workforce.
Bo Bruinsma, Career Outreach Director at School District Two stated, “Billings Public Schools is excited our students will have the opportunity to participate in the Yellowstone County Summer Jobs Program. Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to careers and industries they are interested in, gain valuable employability skills and experience, and network with professionals in our community. We’re confident this program can help students make more informed decisions about their future and show them all the great career opportunities available here in Yellowstone County.”
“BillingsWorks is proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with community partners to implement the SJP here in Yellowstone County in efforts to address local workforce challenges and expose students to potential career pathways.”- Marcell Bruski, Director of Marketing & BillingsWorks
The execution of this effort will be done in conjunction with the Yellowstone County Summer Jobs Program (SJP) Committee made up of BSED, the Billings Chamber of Commerce, School District 2, Reach Higher Montana, City College at MSUB, Billings Association of Realtors and with the support of American Jobs for American Youth (AJAY) Montana. The goal of this pilot year is to serve at least 30 Yellowstone County youth (ages 16-19), matching them with local employers and local mentors.