135 Tacoma students participate in Summer Jobs 253 program

Summer Jobs 253—a program that provides paid work experience and high school credit to incoming juniors and seniors attending public schools in Tacoma—recently wrapped up its third year with 135 students completing the program with the help of 49 area employers, according to City of Tacoma officials.

In addition to gaining on the job work experience, students in the program can also earn up to two high school credits, keeping them on track for on-time graduation. Students in the program work up to 96 hours for an employer, as well as attend an additional 24 hours of classroom time to learn resume writing, interviewing, and financial literacy. In turn, the program provides employers with a low-cost, low risk summer workforce; intelligent and motivated employees; access to a diverse pool of talent; an opportunity to change lives; and the opportunity to recruit future employees, according to City officials.

This year, 74 students signed up for a “free for life” bank account offered by program partner Wells Fargo.

The program was launched by the City of Tacoma three years ago as a pilot project with 50 students (see “Tacoma pilot program links students to paid summer jobs, graduation credits,” Tacoma Daily Index, June 24, 2013). The program is funded by the City of Tacoma, and through corporate donors and a small participation fee from participating employers. In April, the program received a $20,000 grant from State Farm Insurance, one of downtown Tacoma’s largest employers (see “Summer Jobs 253: State Farm awards $20K to Tacoma youth employment program,” Tacoma Daily Index, April 9, 2015). Last year, the program received a $4,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors (see “Tacoma youth employment program awarded $4K grant,” Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 24, 2014).

This year the program was sponsored by State Farm Insurance, General Plastics Manufacturing Company, Toray Composites America, U.S. Oil & Refining Company, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, and United Way of Pierce County.

The City and its program partners, the REACH Center, Tacoma Public Schools and WorkForce Central, are beginning to plan for the 2016 program. People who are interested in becoming a program patron may contact Christopher Wright at (253) 591-5075 or cwright@cityoftacoma.org. If you are interested in hosting a student for employment, contact Sarah Atchison at satchison@reachtacoma.org or visit summerjobs253.com to submit an application and get more information about the program.


To read the Tacoma Daily Indexs complete and comprehensive coverage of Summer Jobs 253, click on the following links: