Apopka Kicks off Summer Work Program

The City of Apopka and CareerSource Central Florida will launch a new program  this weekend to provide job training and employment for Apopka area high-school students.

 Apopka Youth Works will provide 32 low-income or disadvantaged high-school juniors and seniors with a summer of employment education and paid work through local businesses. A total of 19 area companies signed up to provide jobs and mentoring for the students. Work varies from child care, law, food services and manufacturing to office, retail, computer networking and chemistry.

First, students will undergo a week of classroom instruction beginning Saturday with six hours of foodhandler training – a requirement in Florida for anyone who will work in the food service industry. The class is provided by SafeStaff – a contractor for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

Next week, Valencia College provide five days of essential workplace training. Lessons show how to write an effective résumé and cover letter, interview techniques, communication skills, conflict resolution, and professional workplace etiquette.

Students also will participate in the United States Conference of Mayors’ DollarWise Campaign. DollarWise provides youth with financial literacy curricula targeting money management skills. By completing 5 online education modules, students will be eligible to win Apple iPads and other prizes.

The students later will spend 7 weeks at work. Participating businesses have the opportunity to employ students while the program provides the training and pay. Students will earn $8.25 an hour for 30 hours a week. CFE Federal Credit Union will provide free checking and savings accounts for the students with their ychecks directly deposited each week.

Optical Eyeland, which opened in Apopka in 1986, is among the businesses that volunteered to be part of Apopka Youth Works. “This is a great way to help out the community and mentor some of our youth,” said owner and optician Brian Pinckney. “It also can give them an open eye into a good career field into their future.”

Chris DiRocco, owner of the LAN on Demand computer networking business in Apopka, has worked with other career training programs for young people. He looks forward to helping with Apopka Youth Works and said that many of today’s kids are surrounded by technology and are well suited to work in the hi-tech field: “They have an advantage because they don’t have a fear of it. We look at it (technology) like a tool – they look at it as lifestyle.”

Other companies participating in Apopka Youth Works include Andrade & Vellon Law Firm, Apopka Family Learning Center, Bam B Enterprises/McDonalds, Chance Ad, the City of Apopka, Coca-Cola, Community Trust Credit Union, Florida Door Solutions, Goodwill Industries, Great Florida Insurance of Apopka, Hope Community Center, Lotus Yoga Center-Apopka, Marshalls, Pizza Hut, Privacy on Demand and Tiny Tots of Apopka.

CareerSource is sponsoring 20 of the students with $38,400 funded through the Workforce Investment Act. That federal program was completely updated last year to provide $3 billion nationally for state and local work training programs for youth and adults.  The City of Apopka is sponsoring 12 students for more than $30,000.


  1. Laura Thomas says:

    how does one apply for this program

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