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Mayor Alvin Brown Launches 2015 Summer Jobs Program

Taylor Johnson

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown launched his teen summer-jobs program at the City’s downtown library on Monday.

Duval County students will receive job training and work experience through the program.

Mayor Brown talked to a huge room full of teenagers Monday morning.

“This is your launching pad. This is your opportunity to build on a strong foundation that you already have,” said Brown.

The Summer Jobs Program provides at least minimum-wage jobs to teenagers with the aim of developing young leaders and keeping juveniles out of the criminal justice system.

Marielle Billingsley, a 17-year-old student, says she has a permanent part-time job thanks to the last summer-jobs program. She works nearly 24 hours a week at the Main Library downtown.

“Be open, open minded. Don’t just because, it’s a certain type of job that you might not think you’ll like, you’ll be surprised,” said Billingsley.

The mayor says, in addition to the job placements, nearly 800 kids are getting pre-employment training this summer.

“You gotta build that pipeline. You gotta send a message to everybody in Jacksonville and northeast Florida, that real work experience matters,” said Brown.

But the demand exceeds the supply. Brown says this summer’s program has a waiting list. It’s available to Duval County residents between the ages of 16 and 21.

Taylor Johnson has been practicing on-air journalism since the fifth grade, bringing over 10 years of experience to WJCT as a Summer Intern. Growing up in Lakeland, Florida, she followed her passion for production to the University of North Florida where she is currently double majoring in production and journalism. Taylor will graduate with her bachelor's degrees in December.