Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 10, 2014

Spots still available for youth employment summit

Free event for high school students

By Lauren Fitch Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — The future of Howard County rests on the shoulders of today’s high school students, which is why the West Central Indiana Region 4 Workforce Board and the city of Kokomo have organized a youth summit and networking event.

Howard County students in grades 10 through 12 are invited to the first local youth summit of its kind April 26. The “What about you?” summit and networking event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event and Conference Center, where students will learn about employability skills, current summer job and internship opportunities and have the chance to network with area employers.

“It’s a one-day interactive and high-impact conference,” said Brooklyn Burton, a member of the Workforce Board and organizer behind the summit. “We wanted to start the summit as an opportunity for youth to learn about skills employers value.”

More than 165 students already have registered for the free summit, which includes lunch, a gift bag and the chance to win prizes. Up to 200 people can attend the conference, and students are encouraged to invite a parent, guardian or other guest to accompany them.

Mayor Greg Goodnight will kick off the summit by addressing students.

“The prosperity of Kokomo and the entire state depends on the educational and employment opportunities available to young people,” Goodnight said in a press release about the event.

After his remarks, students will hear from an employer panel about the soft skills needed to land a job and what the expectations are for professionals in different fields. Seventeen employers will participate in the summit, representing the health care, retail and manufacturing sectors.

“We’ve had unbelievable support for the event,” Burton said.

The summit will close with three different workshops for students to teach them about “the skills to pay the bills”; work ethics, professionalism and social media; and getting a job, where students will meet with local employers and potentially be interviewed for their available positions.

Prior to the youth summit, participants must attend a workshop Tuesday, Wednesday or April 20 to work on their resumes, learn how to dress for an interview and discuss the importance of making a good first impression.

“When they meet with the employers, they’re going to have that resume they created. They’ll feel more comfortable talking with employers about the skills they have,” Burton said.

For more information or to register for the City of Kokomo Youth Summit and Networking Event: “What about you?”, visit http://conta.cc/P0bMtj, like the event’s Facebook page or follow @14KokomoYS on Twitter.

Education reporter Lauren Fitch can be reached at 765-454-8587, by email at lauren.fitch@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LaurenBFitch.