By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For more than 30 years, the city has had a program in place to get summer jobs for teens. Mostly the jobs involve outdoor clean up work.

But now, as Mike Schuh reports, the plan to get kids employed by actual businesses is paying off.

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Near Oriole Park, 19-year-old Brendan Williams is learning one box, one pallet and one forklift at a time.

“Well, he comes in enthusiastic each day ready to work,” said Allen Fink, ABC Box Company.

“It’s a good way to be bored in the house. It’s something for me to do. And I like helping people,” said Williams.

He’s there thanks to a city program that encouraged business owners, like Allen Fink, to hire just one youth from the city.

“I think he’s got the drive to make it in a very tough business environment in which we work. He’s already made the decision to go to college. He’s already made the decision to major in business,” said Fink.

The fastest way to the top may be to start at the bottom. Job-one for 500 teens is learning how to work–to show up, to be polite, take direction and figure out how to resolve problems.

Earnest Dorsey runs the “Hire One Youth” program for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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“It is extremely important, because if they learn how to work now, they will continue to be employed. We need a prepared workforce,” Dorsey said.

The city employs more than 5,000 in its summer jobs programs. But Williams’ job is different. The business owner pays his salary and Williams gets work experience, which will look good later.

“It shows I’m a good worker, I’m a hard worker and I can tackle any job you give me,” said Williams.

Besides learning how to work, he now will have a great recommendation from his boss.

“It certainly makes us feel good that we can bring aboard someone fresh out of high school and make their first job experience a positive job experience,” said Fink.

Williams is registering for community college in the fall. Depending on how his college career goes, Fink wouldn’t mind hiring Williams again next year.

In all, more than 100 businesses are hiring city teens this summer.

Click here for more information about YouthWorks & Hire One Youth.

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