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YouthWorks Program Builds Workforce in Montgomery County

Jah Horton

With over 400 participating employers last year, Montgomery County’s YouthWorks program placed 1,633 youth ages 14 to 18 years old in businesses throughout the region. Montgomery County pays for the youth’s wages during their 8-week summer employment period and committed over $1.8 million this season.

“By involving our youth in this program and with participating companies not worrying about the cost, the entire focus is on the youth and developing their job readiness skills while they get valuable work experience along the way,” said County Commission President Debbie Lieberman.

In 2015, students from over 20 high schools participated in the program and represented the county extremely well while benefiting so many business in the area. Over 100 of these youth are participating in a year-round program with the County. Jah Horton is one of them:

In early 2015, the Montgomery County YouthWorks program saw thousands of applications being submitted by a new round of students throughout the county. Jah Horton was one of the many faces the staff accepted and got to know throughout the application and orientation process during the summer. This young man was committed to landing a summer job with one of hundreds of local companies who partner with the YouthWorks program to invest in the future workforce of Montgomery County.

“I was interested in YouthWorks because it was a gateway for young people to get their foot in the door in the workplace without the hassle of being denied a job,” says Jah. “I was hoping to get my name known in the workforce, in a good way, so if I wasn’t able to get a job at Dysinger, I would be able to use that experience and those contacts to help me find a job elsewhere.”

After completing all of the requirements, including orientation and training by the YouthWorks staff, it was time for Jah to choose a worksite for the summer. He chose Dysinger Inc., a precision machining services company located on Webster Street in Dayton.

“Dysinger was made aware of YouthWorks through Josh Kemplin with Fastlane, which specializes in helping small and medium manufacturing companies grow in the Dayton area,” said Mandi White of Dysinger. “Dysinger contacted YouthWorks to find out more about the program. We were looking for a student who was interested in the Manufacturing field. From day one we could tell Jah had a great work ethic. He was punctual and when he would run out of work he would always ask for things to do. When a position became available, we had no problem hiring Jah at our company.”

The Dysinger team was excited to have Jah onboard for the summer and looked forward to seeing how he progressed throughout the 8 weeks he spent with the company. At the end of the summer, Dysinger was so impressed with Jah’s hard work and positive attitude that when they were presented with the opportunity to keep Jah in the fall through YouthWork’s extension program, they were happy to hire the young man permanently!

Jah Horton