The Salesian Boys and Girls Club is about to begin a yearlong job-training program to teach teen-agers about the rules of the workplace and to help find them internships in businesses throughout Los Angeles.
The program, funded by a grant from the United Way, will employ 10 youths from City Terrace and Boyle Heights who come from troubled and poor families, said Father Carmine Vairo, the club's executive director.
The program will begin as soon as a check, for about $19,000, arrives in April, he said.
"I'm hoping it's going to give kids an experience that they wouldn't have otherwise, so they can realize there are opportunities to move ahead," Vairo said.
"What we're finding with our kids is they're becoming so despondent and so depressed that they don't know there are other options. They get so closed in with what's happening in their neighborhoods."
The grant will pay for the teen-agers' stipends and for a case manager to track their performance and job satisfaction.
Based on their interests, the youths will be matched with businesses and have opportunities to work at other places during the year, said Patty De Dominic, chair of the board of PDQ Personnel Services. The company has volunteered to counsel the teen-agers in much the same way it works with adults, she said, and to continue mentoring them after the orientation.
"We're helping them (learn to) be interview-ready, how to dress for an interview and handle interviews. We'll teach them also how to handle coaching at work," De Dominic said. The orientation will last about four weeks, followed by job placement in such businesses as the Southern California Gas Co., insurance offices and PDQ.
"We see our role as a delicate one because we don't want to come in and tell the kids what to do," De Dominic said. "We'll see what they want and talk to them about other options as well."