Summer Jobs 253 recruiting Tacoma employers to host youth

The City of Tacoma, the REACH Center, Tacoma Public Schools and WorkForce Central are partnering to accept applications from local businesses interested in providing employment to Tacoma high school juniors or seniors this summer.

The plan is part of Summer Jobs 253, a summer youth program that provides an opportunity for Tacoma high school students to gain work experience and increase self-confidence and personal growth. Established as a pilot program last June, Summer Jobs 253 enrolled 50 students attending public high schools in Tacoma. The students worked a total of 160 paid hours each, with the opportunity to earn academic credit. They also participated in the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning program. The program, backed by Columbia Bank, included lessons on money management, borrowing, investing, and other relevant topics.

Though there are a number of youth employment programs offered in Tacoma, discontinuation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act summer youth employment funding has limited the number of employment opportunities for youth, according to City of Tacoma officials.

In January, the program was awarded a $4,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“Last year, the pilot program was a great success,” said City of Tacoma Neighborhood and Community Services Director Tansy Hayward. “We have modified the program this year to make Summer Jobs 253 more sustainable and to provide more opportunities for students and employers to participate.”

The $50,000 in funding support by both the City of Tacoma and WorkForce Central, and a $500 employer contribution per student, allows the program to provide case management, classroom support, and wages for the student participants.

“Given that the $500 investment by employers entitles organizations to nearly 100 work hours, we feel this is an opportunity to expand organizational capacity and invest in community workforce development at a very low cost,” said REACH Center Director Kurt Miller.

Employers interested in participating in Summer Jobs 253 can download an application online at or contact Employer applications must be received by May 1 and can be mailed to the REACH Center, c/o Tacoma Community House, P. O. Box 5107, Tacoma, WA 98415.

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