WorkNet DuPage offers new paid internships for young adults in partnership with DuPage County businesses

  • A young adult participant in DuPage County's Make Your Way Program. The program allowed Rachel to explore her career goals and secure a paid internship at an Aurora-based veterinary clinic.

    A young adult participant in DuPage County's Make Your Way Program. The program allowed Rachel to explore her career goals and secure a paid internship at an Aurora-based veterinary clinic. Courtesy of DuPage County's workNet DuPage Career Center

 
 
Updated 3/17/2022 3:48 PM

The DuPage County Workforce Development Division at workNet DuPage is expanding its youth employment program, Make Your Way (MY Way), to offer paid internships for young people, ages 17-24.

The program's expansion will connect the county's youth to professional opportunities and work experiences of their choice through local employers in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. The initiative allows young adults to meet with marketing, nonprofit, and creative professionals, as well as tech, manufacturing, and industrial sectors to explore careers, build critical work skills, network, and gain competitive paid work experience.

 

Participants receive intensive support throughout the process, including:

• Ongoing career advisement and job readiness programming;

• Active job search help with the guide of a job developer;

• One year of follow-up services;

• The option to attend school or a job training program, up to $10,000, ending with a nationally recognized certification

The pandemic sparked disproportionate economic and mental hardship among young adults. At a time in life when young adults typically launch a career, many experienced a "lost year." Young workers' already-higher unemployment rates tripled -- with people of color most affected. During the pandemic, youth unemployment in Illinois reached a staggering 23.3%.

"As our county bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the young adults in DuPage County need these transformative work opportunities more than ever. I encourage them to explore and take full advantage of this program's potential," said DuPage County Board member Amy Chavez. "As the chair of the Economic Development Committee, I look forward to continuing to work with Executive Director Lisa Schvach and our county's workforce center to expand job opportunities for our youth which serve as a springboard to fulfilling careers."

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Eighteen businesses and other DuPage County institutions have already signed on to the program and new opportunities are regularly added on the program's website. The public can view the list of internships at worknetdupage.org/internships/.

Applications for MY Way are now being accepted. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as monthly orientation slots fill up quickly. To view the list of internships and express interest, young adults ages 17-24 are invited to go to worknetdupage.org/internships/.

To learn more about the program, check out the MY Way spring/summer 2022 young adult program guide at worknetdupage.org or call or text MYWAY to (630) 857-0842.

The DuPage County Workforce Development Division/workNet DuPage Career Center is funded through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and serves young adults, jobseekers, and businesses in DuPage County. Its mission is to ensure that DuPage County businesses have access to a skilled workforce and jobseekers have access to meaningful employment. For more information about Youth Services at workNet DuPage, visit www.worknetdupage.org/youth.

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