Last summer the City of Bristol was faced with the unfortunate news that funding to support the State Summer Youth Employment Program positions in Bristol would be eliminated. Despite the news, a grant from the Tim and Mary Walsh Charitable Fund at Main Street Community Foundation fulfilled some of the need. In 2017, 30 Bristol high school students had the opportunity to work in their community while developing the skills and qualities necessary for success in the workplace.
The Walsh Summer Work Experience Program (WSWEP) will once again be offered in 2018. Another generous grant has been awarded to the United Way of West Central Connecticut to coordinate this program. A total of 30 Bristol youth ages 16-19 will participate in WSWEP this year, which will run from June 25 through August 10.
Students interested in this opportunity can get an application from their high school guidance department. Applications are due May 23.
The first week of the program, and every Friday, will be spent in a classroom learning career readiness and social and emotional learning skills. The following six weeks will provide each student meaningful, supervised, real work experience four days a week.
Worksites commit to providing 20 hours per week and all are located in Bristol. There will be approximately a dozen worksites this year and they include Bristol Housing Authority, Bristol Hospital, Bristol Board of Education, Boys and Girls Club of Bristol Family Center, Hand to Hand Thrift Store, New England Carousel Museum and Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center, two local manufacturing companies among others.
“What really makes WSWEP unique is the innovative classroom curriculum,” stated Nancy Micloskey, United Way Community Impact Assistant Coordinator. “We’re really looking at the lifelong impact that this program can have on the students.”