Non-profit looking to help teens land summer jobs

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Non-profit looking to help teens land a job, Deborah Wrigley reports. (KTRK)

As the school year ended for Houston ISD students, some numbers emerged about summer jobs that aren't that encouraging.

Houston's job growth has started to slow as the energy sector continues to downsize, off its record highs from two years ago. Prices have started to creep higher per barrel as oil stockpiles shrink.

That said, non-profits, like SER/Jobs for Progress in Houston said its summer job offerings are a fraction of what was available 10 years ago.

"Back them, we had about ten thousand jobs for students," said Vanessa Ramirez, with SER. "This year, it's about 1,500 with our partners. Businesses are cutting back."

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that the city's summer job program for youth began with 450 jobs.

"Since then we've added about 1,500 more jobs, from the private sector, like McDonalds and Whataburger," he said. "These are kids who otherwise would have been on the street this summer."

There are other jobs, including a partnership with institutions like Bank of America, that the mayor's summer job program includes.

It provides exposure to corporate careers and mentorship, which can in turn create business relationships as students make their ways into college.

The downside is that the deadline for applying for the summer jobs program was in March.

Applications outpaced available spaces several times over.

Students unable to secure a summer job are advised to take some skill-building courses during their break from school, which will make them more attractive to an employer.

SER/Jobs for Progress offers free career counseling programs.

For more information, go to

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