A summer youth employment program in Mercer County will provide paid internships and work readiness training to teens and young adults in the County. Priority is given to those who are economically disadvantaged or have barriers to employment; however, the program is open to all.

Mercer County’s Summer Youth Jobs Connection, which is being funded by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and coordinated by the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center, will benefit more than 100 youth ages 16 to 24 with summer employment meant to encourage a successful transition to the workforce.

“We welcome this opportunity to help young people in our communities acquire skills and knowledge they may need to compete in the job market,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said. “A paid internship provides valuable work experience, and employers in Mercer County can help build our future workforce by providing summer jobs and developing young talent at no cost to their company.”

Summer Youth Jobs Connection is an eight-week program that begins July 6 and concludes Aug. 26. Participation is open to Mercer County residents ages 16 to 24 who meet the criteria. Interns will be paid $13.50 an hour with an opportunity to earn $2,600 for the summer. The program also will provide transportation assistance, supportive mentors and paid virtual job readiness workshops. Work assignments can be virtual, on site or a combination. Target enrollment is a minimum of 110 youth.

Interns’ wages and work readiness training will be paid by Mercer County through the funding provided by the State. In addition to learning new skills and being introduced to new career options, interns will be taught time management, effective communication, business etiquette and more.

Employers interested in the Summer Youth Jobs Connection program should contact Kassia Bukosky at 609-989-6066 or cbukosky@mercercounty.org.Youth interested in the program should contact the One-Stop Career Center’s Youth Services Department at 609-989-6206 or ycc@mercercounty.org.

Online applications will be accepted from April 1 to April 29 at www.mercercounty.org.