A first job is a rite of passage. Many of us have fond memories of afternoons, evenings, and weekends spent working the drive-through, scanning groceries, or making coffees. For many teens, a first job is the first time they’ve had money to call their own and responsibilities to people outside of school and their family.
Many people end up leaving their first job behind after a short time, but the skills they learn there carry them through the rest of their careers. Those hours scanning tickets at the movie theater teach us the skills we need to be a professional: showing up on time, getting along with coworkers, handling unhappy customers.
Our youth gain all these skills from their first jobs, and more. A first job can be a step on the ladder out of poverty and homelessness, and toward a better future. However, getting a foot in the door isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t have mentors along the way.
That’s why we’ve created the Work Ambassador program.
Our staff help young people through every step of the process. Youth can get resume help and interview coaching, advice on what to wear to a job interview and where to find postings. They have the opportunity to start by working right here on site, assisting with basic repairs and cleanup at The Bridge. Then, we help connect them to job opportunities with our community partners such as UPS, The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Award Staffing, and Kowalski’s, and offer coaching along the way.
Young people don’t need to be staying at The Bridge to receive employment support. We offer Work Ready, a weekly support group where we answer questions and provide the same kind of coaching to youth new to the workforce.
A job means opportunity and freedom, and the Work Ambassador program helps young people get and succeed in their first job, so they can start climbing the ladder. We’re thrilled to give our youth a leg up – who knows where they’ll find themselves next?