Hire Houston Youth — from 450 jobs to 10,000 in three years

In Houston, if we can dream it, we can do it.

Houston’s economy is booming. Unemployment is down. Start-up businesses are on the rise. We need to ensure that everyone is benefitting from the good things happening in our city.

That is why I have worked to increase the number of summer job and internship opportunities offered through the city’s Hire Houston Youth Program.

Hire Houston Youth works with local employers to provide jobs and internships for youth ages 16 to 24 for at least seven weeks and paying at least $8 an hour. Many pay more than that. It provides our young people with the chance to gain workforce readiness skills, engage in positive activities throughout the summer and sets them up for long-term career opportunities.

When I became mayor in 2016, Hire Houston Youth offered only 450 summer jobs and all of those were with the city. Each year, we have provided more opportunities through this program and in 2019 we will see more than 10,000 young people working with not only the city but with more than 100 corporations and agencies throughout the community.

Over 10,000 jobs are available this summer through Hire Houston Youth, an increase from 450 jobs in 2015

Many young people want to work but they don’t know how to get started. They don’t know how to create a resume or do an interview. Before they meet potential employers, Hire Houston Youth teaches them how to dress, how to speak to people and the importance of being on time and completing assignments. What they learn from this program and from their jobs will help them develop a work ethic that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

I had my first job as a teenager working for an electrician. On the first day, he handed me a wire and told me to crawl through the mud under a house and pull the wire to the other side. Needless to say when I went home that night, I told my mother that was it, I wasn’t going back. My mother, one of the smartest people I ever knew, told me: “Oh, yes, you are. Son, sometimes we do a thing not because we want to but because we have to. Tomorrow will be better than today. But for now, we need the money and you need to go to work.”

My first job was as an electrician’s assistant, where I learned how to take orders, follow instructions, and put in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.

I never forgot that. I went back to work and I learned how to take orders, to follow instructions and put in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. I went from that job to being the mayor of the fourth largest city in America.

I want to encourage our young people to seek out summer jobs and internships, whether through Hire Houston Youth or through their own efforts. What you learn today will help you tomorrow and for the rest of your life.