Montgomery County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist and county business community leaders kicked off the 1983 summer jobs program Monday with a pep talk to potential employers and news of five new job-training workshops for county teen-agers.
During a small ceremony in the executive office building auditorium in Rockville, Gilchrist proclaimed this week "Youth Employment Week" in Montgomery. He urged local businesses to pledge enough summer jobs to make this year's program as successful as the one last year, which put several thousand young people to work.
The county is not setting a specific goal for the number of jobs it hopes to generate, said program coordinator Henry Bernstein of the Office of Economic Development. Instead, Bernstein said, "We're hoping employers will hire kids whether they're sent through us or not."
The county is sponsoring workshops for potential workers aged 14 to 21 at youth service bureaus in Olney, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Kensington. Young people register at the centers, and learn how to hunt for jobs and handle responsibility. After the workshops, each receives a "work readiness card."
Potential employers can contact the centers when they have jobs available. The county is telling the business community to "give us the word on your available openings. We'll give you qualified, serious, work-oriented people," while saving businesses the cost of advertising to find them.
More than 10,000 letters have been mailed out to local businesses, urging them to "Invest In Youth," the theme of this years' campaign.
In addition to the private sector, which will employ most of the youths in the program, the county will offer about 700 public sector jobs for economically disadvantaged and handicapped young people. Most of those public jobs are funded through the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), and Gilchrist, in his fiscal 1984 budget now pending before the council, has set aside county money for more public jobs.
The county-funded jobs, mostly in the Department of Recreation, will allow young people to assist in a beautification projects--mowing grass and cleaning yards on public property.
Officials expect more young people to find work this year than last, whether or not they go through the county-sponsored program. Bernstein believes the economy "is somewhat on an upturn."
"We look good here in Montgomery County compared to other jurisdictions," said Gilchrist.