“This is a life changing opportunity for kids if they’ll take the right attitude and I figure if somebody signs up, they’re coming with the right attitude,” says Savannah Mayor Eddie Deloach.
He’s talking about his Summer 500 Program, designed to help local teenagers find summer jobs. So far, about 400 teens have signed up for the program which you can do online.
The teen applicants are screened, must take a drug test and cannot have been arrested for a felony. (We are told if a young people has been in a bit of trouble and arrested for a misdemeanor that their application will be considered.)
“We just want to give these kids an opportunity to work,” says the mayor.
“We plan to hire four interns,” says Joe Marinelli of Visit Savannah. “We’ll distribute them in positions in the Chamber.”
Marinelli says with more than 20,000 jobs now available in the tourism industry locally, he believes this can be a great program. “We’re challenging the rest of the hospitality and tourism industry to step, hotels, restaurants, retails shops, everybody should get involved in this,” he says.
Businesses must agree to employ the teen for the nine week program and pay at least 8 dollars per hour. The internship program begins May 31 and runs through July 29.
“I think it’s a great stepping stone,” says Mayor Deloach. “And we want the businesses to understand that this is their opportunity to give these kids a chance to develop as human beings and as employees.”
Deloach also made it clear he’s putting his money where his mouth is, i.e. hiring four interns this summer at his own landscaping business.