Summer Jobs And More in Erie

“Success does not happen overnight, it takes work and perseverance and above all, commitment.” While this quote is anonymous, it sums up the effort that was put forth by a number of organizations, businesses, individuals and ambitious youth who helped to make the first annual Erie Summer JAM (jobs and more) a great success.

Summer JAM 2014 was off to a quick start with the development of a colorful and eye-catching logo depicting the Erie skyline with an urban flare. The logo served as the theme for all marketing materials including a flyer, newspaper and magazine ads, a website and social media campaign. Epic Web Studios took the lead in web design and incorporated an interactive map to pinpoint jobs and opportunities. They also managed the social media campaign which included ongoing posts and advertisements on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CareerLink and the Venango Training and Development Center focused their efforts on identifying potential employers and part-time employment. After holding several orientation sessions, 190 youth completed applications and 122 further followed up on their applications and were deemed eligible based on income and other guidelines. The Youth Entrepreneur Society provided job readiness training including career assessment, résumé writing, financial literacy and management, public speaking, proper appearance and behavior, accountability and career planning. On July 14, the student participants began their summer jobs.

Additional employment opportunities were also made available on the website along with a myriad of “MORE” opportunities. Many organizations stepped up and offered youth camps, basketball tournaments, arts and cultural events, college visits, community/neighborhood picnics, festivals and leadership programs.

Summer Jam was also promoted through various media partners including the Manufacturer and Business Association, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Erie Times-News, GoErie and the Corry Journal.

Erie Summer JAM was created as a community service initiative, sponsored by The Erie Community Foundation, to help address crime and poverty among Erie County youth by creating access to jobs, job readiness training and “MORE” opportunities. Funding for Erie Summer JAM was provided by Erie County Council, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority and The Erie Community Foundation.

Summer JAM 2014 has ended as kids are back in school but organizers will continue their efforts to make Summer JAM bigger and better for 2015.

Summer JAM 2014 Highlights

  • 122 youth gained part-time employment
  • $7,000 in mini-grants were awarded to a variety of community centers/organizations
  • More than 80 “more” opportunities were made available to Erie County youth
  • Funding for the program exceeded $210,000
  • 33 employers participated
  • More than 1,090 people “Liked” Summer Jam on Facebook
  • Facebook impressions went from 0 to a weekly high of 23,216 people
  • 563 people were actively engaged with Facebook content
  • 154 connections were made through Twitter
  • More than 110 people on average visited the Summer JAM website daily