Joyce Wilson

Joyce Wilson / Workforce Solutions

When President Barack Obama addressed Congress on Feb. 25, 2009, he explained that “in a global economy, where the most important skill you can sell is your knowledge – a good education is no longer the pathway to opportunity – it’s a prerequisite.” He was emphasizing how in order for youth to deftly maneuver through our new world economy, we need to instill them with skill building and early job prospects to fortify the future of our region.

Workforce Solutions Borderplex has launched the 2019 Summer Youth Employment campaign for the Hire El Paso Youth Summer Work and Summer Earn & Learn programs, which put regional youth to work.

The goal is to serve as many youths as possible. Workforce Solutions Borderplex subsidizes 100% of salaries for the youth participants, so there is no cost to the host employer.

The programs provide youth with first-time, real job experience, establishing a path for success and workforce-readiness.

The 2019 campaign takes a more strategic focus on new regional industry partnerships. With enhanced local commitment to quality worksites, we are giving our future workforce an increased knowledge of career pathways, motivation to succeed and growing pride and belief in themselves. Employers, in turn, will benefit from having a motivated young adult in their workplace.

These summer job experiences engage and educate youth on work readiness skills, exposure to learning about college and potential career choices, as well as other critical life/work skills issues such as financial literacy.

We also place special emphasis on serving populations that face barriers, including youth with disabilities in our Summer Earn & Learn program, youth on public assistance and youth with criminal backgrounds.

Over the years, we’ve seen how these meaningful programs build a sense of resilience, determination and willingness to learn from both youth participants and their employers. When you put young people in an organized, disciplined environment, they’ll surprise you and rise to the occasion.

Our community needs to invest in the quality of the upcoming workforce, as these types of programs add significant value to our region’s future. We salute the 30 local businesses who have already committed to hosting youth this summer and who are contributing to building a vibrant, diverse workforce.

This summer, we invite your company to join our effort. We also offer an array of services for local businesses, including job postings, testing and customized hiring fairs. Remember, when you hire local youth, you are making a lasting impact on our workforce.

For more information, go online to or call 915-887-2332.

Joyce Wilson is CEO of Workforce Solutions Borderplex and a former El Paso city manager.