Teen job program to expand with donation

A local program to help teens land jobs will expand after receiving a sizable donation.

Goodwill Industries of the Columbia presented a check Tuesday for $20,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties.

The money will go to the club's Career Launch program.

The program teaches kids how to get a job, including how to write a rsum and how to succeed in interviews, said Greg Falk, president of the club.

It runs twice a year for 10 weeks.

The program is a collaboration between Goodwill and the Boys & Girls Club. Several Goodwill staffers and board members serve as mentors to the teenagers in the program, said Scott Shinsato, associate executive director for Goodwill.

The money will be used to expand the program since the demand is there. The program started with six youth a little more than a year ago and this fall's Career Launch has 12 teens participating, Falk said.

Teens voluntarily sign up at the Pasco teen center run by the Boys & Girls Club.

The program works, Falk said. Last summer, the program's final stop was a meeting with a local JCPenney hiring manager. After running mock interviews with the teens, the manager praised their skills, saying they were ready to apply for jobs in the real world.

A few of the teens took the manager at her word and applied for a job at her company. One girl was hired, Falk said.