TAMPA, Fla. — Young adults rank the highest for unemployment, but a program in Hillsborough County is aimed at changing that and putting young people to work. 

  • Summer Job Connection program for young job seekers
  • Program helps young people get career experience
  • CareerSource Tampa Bay

CareerSource Tampa Bay launched the “Summer Job Connection” program a few months ago.  The program places people ages 16-21 in summer internships at various companies, doing various jobs. 

The goal of the program is to expose young people to careers that they may not have otherwise considered, all while giving them on the job training. 

“We want them to become well rounded and we want to give them every opportunity to make some informed decisions about their career, and really that starts with exposure to some of these careers that are offered these youth,” said John Flanagan, CareerSource Tampa Bay CEO. 

One of the Summer Job Connection interns, Ella McPherson, is working on the American Victory Ship in downtown Tampa.  She’s a Historian’s Assistant aboard the World War II ship and she goes through all of the artifacts, helping organize the records. 

Ella recently graduated from high school and said thanks to the Summer Job Connection, her future is all coming together. 

“People are always like, do you want to be a firefighter, a police officer, or a doctor?  There are tons of jobs out there and I would never guess being a Historians Assistant on an old World War II ship was ever an option,” said McPherson. 

In its first year, the Summer Job Connection has over 1,000 applicants and officials with CareerSource Tampa Bay say they plan on continuing it next year.