2009 Summer Youth Program
The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Telamon Corporation, the Wicomico County Board of Education (Parkside Career and Technology Center) and the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance partnered this summer to provide a total of eighty (80) youth ages 14 to 21 an opportunity to acquire job readiness and life skills along with a meaningful work experience. The following four employers: Accurate Optical, Wicomico Heating and Air, Lakeside Assisted Living at Mallard Landing, and Market Street Inn reflect the diversity of work sites and skill sets the youth enrolled in the summer program were able to take advantage of.
Jennifer Briddell Shores, Director of Advertising/Marketing for Accurate Optical has taken on interns from the Summer Youth Employment Program for a couple years now. This year, Keishla Febres an 18-year-old who graduated from high school in June helped out in the Advertising/Marketing Department. Keishla plans to attend Wor-Wic Community College in September with the career goal of obtaining a four year degree in education. Mrs. Briddell Shores commented, “Since my intern and I had the pleasure of working together two summers ago, I have had the opportunity to see her mature dramatically this summer. Throughout the program this summer she has demonstrated responsibility and a stellar work ethic. She has been able to achieve knowledge and confidence that only an experience like the summer employment program can provide.”
Lakeside Assisted Living at Mallard Landing
Michelle Metz, Activity Director at Lakeside Assisted Living at Mallard Landing in Salisbury took on intern, Chelsea Parsons a 20-year-old who has previously worked as a GNA and enjoys working with the elderly. “Chelsea Parsons has benefited our activity program in several ways. She has aided us in executing daily activities with our residents. She has helped to give more attention and socialization to residents who enjoy social settings, as well as making room visits to those who prefer one-on-one activities or socialization. With her help, we’ve been able to run more concurrent activities as well as activities on the weekend. Chelsea has accompanied us on almost all community outings. Her help on outings has been imperative for the safety of our residents. She has also been a big help in keeping common areas and bulletin boards decorated with monthly themes and/or holidays. Chelsea has also greatly helped engage residents through face-to-face encouragement or reminder phone calls,” explained Michelle Metz, Activity Director. Chelsea’s career goal is to obtain a degree in either Social Work or Psychology.
Wicomico Heating and Air
Wicomico Heating and Air, Owner, Vic Disharoon employed Brittany Wilkerson this summer as his summer intern. Brittany is 17 years old and just completed 11th Grade. She is a student at the Parkside Career and Technology Center in the HVAC Course. Mr. Disharoon commented, “The Summer Youth Program has provided us with motivated, temporary summer help, which helps our company to finish projects on time or earlier, while previewing future permanent employees.” Returning back to school next year, Brittany is on track for her career goal of becoming a licensed HVAC Journey person.
Market Street Inn
Ebony Thompson took advantage of the summer youth program and interned with Executive Chef, Joel Olive of Market Street Inn. Ebony is 18 years old and graduated high school in June. She also received a certificate of completion from the Parkside Career and Technology Center in Culinary Arts. Joel Olive, Executive chef, explained what benefits his company and the student received from this work experience. “Ebony has learned the high standards of Market Street Inn and what it takes to keep those standards high. She always gave 100% and did what was asked of her. Ebony had the opportunity to learn several business aspects and tricks of the trade. Market Street Inn has benefited because Ebony was a very fast learner and did not require a large amount of supervision. She worked well with staff and was always able to brighten the mood of the staff.” Ebony is going to attend Baltimore International Culinary College in September and her career goal is to become a chef.
In addition to the four employers featured in this article the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Telamon Corporation, the Wicomico County Board of Education (Parkside Career and Technology Center) and the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance would like to thank the following employers for participating in the youth summer employment program and providing a meaningful work experience for the youth: