Savannah youth internship program to provide jobs for hundreds o - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah youth internship program to provide jobs for hundreds of teens

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach wants to give 500 teens an opportunity to do something positive and worth-while this summer, in the form of a brand new internship program.

The nine-week program plans to pair Savannah's business community with high schoolers the summer before senior year. Mayor DeLoach said in an interview with WTOC the plan is for this to keep going, and not be a one year and done kind of a program, which he called a win-win for Savannah's youth and business community.

Mayor DeLoach said he appreciates the value of employment for Savannah's teens, and what that could do to improve anything from self-esteem to the city's crime stats. In 2015, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police arrested nearly 650 teens for part one property crimes.

Mayor DeLoach said, "Growing up my daddy always said, that if you were working, you wouldn't be in any trouble. So best thing you can do is find a job."

The mayor built a landscape management company from the ground up, and plans to do the same for his youth internship program. DeLoach has approached Savannah's Chamber of Commerce, as well as tourism industry leaders to get businesses on board with the concept.

"All of our agencies are working together to make this happen. This is not just the city, it's just one of the ideas that we've come up with. It's a community effort to make this happen. It doesn't matter where you live, everybody appreciates a job. So we're going to try to make sure the kids in school get that opportunity. We have to depend on everybody in the community to help," said DeLoach.

And it's not just employment that teens will get through this internship program. 

DeLoach said, "We'll have them working with the employer about four days a week. And on the fifth day, we'll teach them soft skills and help develop them as an employee, so that when they come out the twelfth grade they'll be somebody who knows what it means to work."

The mayor's internship program, which is separate from the Savannah Impact Program’s summer internships, will require that the student be heading into their senior year, and pass a drug test.

Mayor DeLoach said the plan is to have all the businesses partnered with the program by the end of March, then start the application process.

We'll have a more in depth look at our conversation with the mayor this Friday at 7:30 p.m. on WTOC Prime. 

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