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WDTN Highlights YouthWorks

County program helping teens find jobs

Article written by Maytal Levi and WDTN.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County is leading the way in helping the region’s youth become job ready.

This year, the program has helped hundreds of teens land jobs.

It’s a program called YouthWorks, county leaders put it together in hopes of preparing 14 to 18-year-olds for the workforce.

The teens work a paying job for 8 weeks in the summer, however 17-year old Jah Horton is still working his summer job, his boss just wouldn’t let him go.

“I come into work every day with a smile on my face,” said Horton, a junior in high school.

Horton started his first summer job when he was 14-years old.

This past summer he started working at Dysinger, a manufacturing facility in Dayton.

“There’s a lot of mechanical engineers in here and that’s the job field I am interested in,” said Horton.

Within one year the YouthWorks program has placed more than 1,633 teenagers like Horton in businesses throughout the region.

Mandi White with Dysinger says, when the summer was over, the company didn’t want to lose Jah as an employee.

“He’s a great kid, he works hard, he does anything he is asked, he does anything he is asked. We are really really happy with him,” said White.

Horton comes right after school 5 days a week to the facility working about 20 hours, doing a job so complicated most of us wouldn’t understand.

“I do carbonite, I should explain those shouldn’t I?,” said Horton.

This year YouthWorks has paid over $1.8 million in wages. The program is so successful, it’s organizers hope to get more grant money to expand.

Horton is one example of how the program is connecting teenagers with opportunities they might not otherwise have.

“I’m happy to be making money the right way, the legal way I should say,” said Horton.

Horton hopes to attend the University of Cincinnati for engineering next year. He says he’s now saving up for a new car.