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CTE & Y.O.U. Collaborate on Summer Youth Employment

Do you need to hire employees for the summer of 2024? Would it be helpful if new employees arrived with some preparation and compensation? On February 1, 2024, forty people gathered at the Deborah Delisle Options Center to attend the Heights High Business Connection event. A collaboration of Reaching Heights, Future Heights, the Heights Career & Technical Education (CTE) Consortium,

and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), this event brought business owners and managers, and community leaders together to learn about high school career and technical education programs and youth career development programs. 


Attendees heard a brief presentation by the Heights CTE Consortium’s Business and Community Engagement Specialist, Dr. Carmen Daniel, highlighting the wide variety of programs offered to all high school juniors and seniors in the consortium of five districts including Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Shaker Heights, Warrensville Heights, Maple Heights, and Bedford.  These programs prepare students for entry level positions with both the technical skills and the soft skills of a valued employee. Eric Dillenbeck, Director of Work Experience Programs for Y.O.U also spoke at the event about the Y.O.U Summer Youth Employment Program. This program helps prepare, place, support, and compensate students who live in Cuyahoga County and are 14-19 years old. Approximately 1800 students will be paid $13.50 per hour for a 6-week (20-25 hours per week) work experience this summer.

After each presentation, attendees had the opportunity to meet each other and discuss the topics covered by the speakers.  Bryan Barrett, owner of Bryan’s Marathon was impressed with the evaluation system for student employees that included the importance of soft skills like arriving on time, dressing appropriately, and expressing a ready-to-work attitude. Another attendee mentioned the value of students receiving exposure to a variety of work environments to learn which fields were not of interest or of great interest to students.  Sally Kramer, Reaching Heights Board Member and parent of two Heights graduates was happy to hear that every CTE program has college credit associated with it. She said, “Most people know about college credit from Advanced Placement (AP) and College Credit Plus (CCP). This event was a great reminder that students also can earn CTE college credit.”

Y.O.U and the Heights CTE Consortium are hoping to employ 150 rising Juniors and Seniors for the summer work experience at various work sites near Cleveland Heights and University Heights.  Employers will need to complete the interest form by April 1, 2024. To learn more about the Y.O.U Summer Youth Employment Program visit To register as a work site contact Dr. Carmen Daniel at


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