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Job Skills Workshop Offered for Teens

Young people can learn resume writing, application techniques and interview skills, all for free.

If you’ve got a bored, jobless teenager at home this summer, Oak Park is offering a way to get the out of the house and help them gain life skills for free.

After noticing a number of youth who needed help with their job-finding skills, Oak Park Community Relations Director Cedric Melton started the youth employment skills workshop series in 2004.

“People were sending their kids to me to look for jobs, and they didn’t know how to fill out an application,” he said. “That’s not just kids who aren’t doing well in school or who might be heading down the wrong track, I found it among straight-A students as well.”

The workshop will take place from 4-7 p.m. on July 25-29 in the Oak Park Police Substation at 618 S. Austin Blvd.

The 14-17 year olds will learn application techniques, self-confidence, interview skills, employer expectations, resume writing, conflict resolution and self-development, which Melton refers to as “soft skills.”

Deadline to register is today. Those looking for more information on enrollment are encouraged to call (708) 358-5407 or e-mailing community@oak-park.us.

Local business owners and entrepreneurs will speak to the participants about these skills, including the owner of a silk-screen company and a woman who runs her own human resources business.

There may also be opportunities for those who complete the workshop to interview for available positions; however, a job is not guaranteed.

“Some of the speakers may have openings and they get to see the youth firsthand,” Melton said. “Last year, Dominick’s hired 11 people.”

With the current economic environment, he said, it’s beneficial for young people to learn these skills and build a network.

“Since ’04, about 100 young people have gone through the program,” Melton said, “and many of them have gone on to do great things. It’s really a great way to link up young people with the community.

“We may be able to point them in the right direction.”

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