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EDC Kicks Off Summer Employment for 73 Youths

(EDC President & CEO Jim Coleman Encouraging KEYS Program Youth at Orientation)Largo, MD, July 5, 2016 - Today, the Workforce Services Division of the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) kicked off its KEYS (Knowledge Equals Youth Success) summer program, which provides youth ages 14-24 with professional growth and work experience. EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman, along with Workforce Services Division staff met with 40 of the 73 program participants and encouraged them to make the most out of the opportunities the KEYS program can provide for them.

"Push the envelope every day when it comes to learning what it's like to work in the workforce every single day. This is priceless for you," said Coleman. "Summer jobs are important on your resume. Employers want to hire somebody who already has work experience. A good team player. Somebody who shows up to work on time. Somebody the boss can rely on. You're going to be working for first class companies getting first class exposure in the work place. Take advantage of that."

The services offered under the Workforce Services Division youth program KEYS program are offered year-round and designed to keep youth on track in meeting their goal of achieving a high-school diploma and moving on to college, occupational skills training, and /or employment. Funded through the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act and the Maryland Summer Connection grant, youth enrolled in the KEYS summer work program will have the opportunity to build on their individual strengths as well as build awareness of employer expectations, proper work attire, and interpersonal expectations.

"KEYS is an excellent opportunity for youth to begin their career ladder," said Marcita Bentley-Pinkston, Assistant Director for Youth Services, Workforce Services Division of the EDC. "For many Prince George's County residents, this is their first opportunity to work and we want to make sure that they are well prepared for this great opportunity."

The participants will be paid $9.55 per hour and will work 40 hours a week during the 6-week work experience program. Some of the youth in attendance today were returning students looking forward to another opportunity to gain valuable work experience and access to top line employers.

"I have been a part of the KEYS program for four years and it has helped me grow as an individual, as a young adult, and as a young lady; especially when it comes to professionalism and knowing how to carry yourself in a work environment," said Alexis Barber, Suitland High School graduate and rising sophomore at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD. "The program shifted my mindset to a more professional business mindset. It provides core training that teaches you how to make a great impression and make sure you are polished, regardless of your age."

For more information about the EDC's Workforce Services Division Youth Programs, contact Marcita Bentley-Pinkston at 301-618-8400 or mbentley@pgcedc.com. You can also visit www.pgcedc.com.