Can’t Get a Job with Your Pants on the Ground

will-s-0209Summer Jobs and Youth
American Idol hopeful, Larry Platt caused quite a stir with his unforgettable performance because he was on crusade. As a dedicated civil rights advocate, Platt has championed many causes over the years this time his focus was the future of our youth. His motivation revolved around years of pent-up frustration after witnessing the youth who habitually wore sagging/baggy pants and other inappropriate clothing that he considered to be damaging to their future. Platt is the product of a generation that takes pride in the way they look and how they are perceived by others and felt that such attire failed on both fronts. Though he aged out of the competition, his message was received loud and clear by millions around the country who echoed his sentiments.

Summer is settling in and many high school and college students are searching for employment opportunities. So the time is right to touch upon some basic principles to avoid becoming the ire of General Larry Platt and introduce you to our summer youth program.

Dressing Tips:
Not all young people have “seasoned veterans” that will help them prepare for their first job search campaign. The key is to establish a tone that you are indeed professional and mature. Employers want to know that they can trust you representing their business. You only get one chance to make a great impression!

Young men should wear dress slacks and a button-down shirt; pressed, clean and always tucked in. Plain colors are a safe bet. Include a belt, black or brown socks and nice dress shoes. A tie would be nice, but not essential for most summer opportunities. Tennis shoes are not an option, unless it is in an environment that requires you to wear them. Hair should be neat and combed. Never wear earrings, nose, lip, or eye piercings. Cover all tattoos.

Young women should wear either a nice skirt that approaches the knee or longer or slacks. Accompany that with a nice blouse that does not show shoulders or mid section. Hair can be up or down as long as it is neat and presentable. Tennis shoes are not an option unless it is in an environment that requires you to wear them. Never wear nose, lip, or eye piercings and jewelry should be minimal. All tattoos should be covered up.

Employers are not expecting for you to be a polished, seasoned professional, but they are looking for those who stand out and are willing to go the extra mile to look the part.

Summer Jobs Program

If you are 16-24 years old and your family receives public assistance, your job prospects may be in great shape. Workforce Solutions is searching for eligible young people to fill summer jobs.

To be eligible:
• You must be 16 to 24 years old, AND
• Eligible to work in the United States AND
• Your family currently receiving government benefits or public assistance, such as TANF, SNAP, CHiP, WIC, free or reduced cost school lunch, Medicaid, Public Housing Assistance, Workforce Solutions financial aid – OR – your annual family income is at or below the following levels:

Family Size 1 2 3 4 5 6
Income $23,156 $37,937 $52,071 $64,286 $75,874 $88,737

For families with more than six people, add $12,863 for each additional person.

Where to Apply

Interested youth and young adults must register and establish eligibility. You can apply at a Workforce Solutions career office during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.) and designated extended hours as shown on the CALENDAR. To find a Workforce Solutions office near you, visit or call 1-888-469-JOBS, select option 1 and enter your zip code to be connected to the nearest office.

What to Bring When You Apply

• Proof of your identity and age (Government or School issued photo I.D., current school report card)
• Proof you are eligible to work in the U.S. (U.S. Birth Certificate, INS document, Social Security Card – original only, no copies or laminates)
• Proof of government benefits or public assistance (Award Letter or other proof of assistance); or, Proof of family income for the last 13 weeks
• Parent must accompany individuals ages 16 and 17

Information Packet

In order to speed up the application process, you may want to download, read and complete the forms contained in the INFORMATION PACKET. Bring the completed forms to a career office when you visit to apply.

For more information on the program, view and download the 2010 Summer Jobs for Youth flyer . Have a great summer and always remember to keep your head in the game and pants not on the ground.

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.


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