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Summer jobs are a worthwhile business investment

Baltimore -7/27/17--Melanie Shimano, left, who teaches a food computer course at Green Street Academy for the YouthWorks program, guides Diamond Brown, 15, as she makes mayonnaise. During this class, the students participate in a cooking competition. Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun Staff. --#532.
Baltimore -7/27/17--Melanie Shimano, left, who teaches a food computer course at Green Street Academy for the YouthWorks program, guides Diamond Brown, 15, as she makes mayonnaise. During this class, the students participate in a cooking competition. Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun Staff. --#532. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

This summer — as local students look for jobs and Baltimore’s youth unemployment rate remains high — it’s important to remember the positive role the business community can play, as well as remembering the good work already being done throughout the city. One strong example is Baltimore’s summer jobs program, YouthWorks, which currently offers thousands of people ages 14 to 21 a range of professional experiences. YouthWorks has employed around 5,000 youth each summer since its launch with that number surging to around 8,000 since 2015.

At Veolia North America, we are thrilled to be a part of this worthwhile initiative, with several interns becoming full-time employees after their YouthWorks tenure. I was raised in Baltimore, attended Baltimore City Public Schools, participated in city training programs and now support my hometown by assisting in managing much of the city’s district energy supply networks. I understand firsthand the need to create opportunities for our next generation of young people. Baltimore talent remains an untapped resource, and I encourage other local businesses to embrace programs that support job training and closing the Baltimore skills gap.

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Pam Clark, Baltimore

The writer is director of account management for Veolia North America-Baltimore.

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