Teenagers interested in working a summer job will get a boost with a newly created youth employment program.

Applications for the Summer Youth Employment Initiative are being accepted on the city of Goldsboro's website, and at least 50 jobs will be available for teens between the ages of 14 and 18. Teens need to be city residents to qualify.

The application deadline is May 1, and a mandatory information session for interested applicants will be on April 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College.

"The Summer Youth Employment Initiative gives youth the opportunity to cultivate meaningful career-development skills needed to become influential people in their communities while earning a living," said Shycole Simpson-Carter, Goldsboro community relations director. "This pilot program will also aid youth in identifying their strengths and personal potential, while at the same time increasing confidence and developing a sense of personal urgency for their own future."

The jobs will pay between $7.25 and $8.25 an hour and teens will work between 20 and 25 hours a week. The city of Goldsboro plans to pay for part of the program and could spend upwards of $45,000 to hire 28 part-time workers, including 26 youth, two counselors, equipment and supplies.

An estimated 30 additional jobs are expected through federally funded programs through the Goldsboro Housing Authority and Wayne Community College. WCC is being assisted by the N.C. Works Career Center.

The first-of-its-kind program was developed through a collaborative effort of the city's Community Relations Department, GHA and WCC.

The three groups were pursuing similar programs and decided to partner to strengthen their efforts, said Jacqueline Kannan, GHA public information officer.

"This initiative is designed to show our youth what it means to have a job, take on some responsibility, and encourage upward mobility," said Anthony Goodson Jr., GHA chief executive officer. "It is a great example of how our community can creatively address issues related to crime and poverty, by providing these opportunities to our youth."

The summer youth job program includes the hiring of teenagers who will work temporary jobs for six weeks. Two, six-week job opportunities are available with youth working either May 29 through July 7 or July 10 though Aug. 18.

A variety of jobs will be available and application reviews will lead to fitting teens into jobs that best match their skills, interests and abilities, Simpson-Carter said.

The jobs can include working at park and recreation facilities, performing office work or assisting with GHA programs or other jobs needed at area nonprofits or a handful of small businesses which are partnering as work-approved sites, Kannan said.

The program will also incorporate other learning opportunities, including trips to enhance learning and basic personal skill training to help youth succeed in the workplace.

The additional training will help address employer concerns about workers lacking basic customer-service skills, said Michele Wiggins, GHA Jobs Plus director.

"Workforce readiness cannot begin too early," Wiggins said. "This collaboration is a wonderful benefit to our youth, and in the future, it will translate to a benefit for local employers and the community at large."

Some WCC job opportunities may be available for older youth, above the age of 18, who live in the county, said Renita Dawson, WCC associate vice president of Continuing Education Services.

"A great number of adults in our community gained their first work experiences in the summer through these workforce development programs years ago," Dawson said. "This initiative is a great way to expose this generation to similar experiences and give them a great foundation of work skills."

Applicants under the age of 18 will need a work permit, which can be secured at the Wayne County Health Department or on the N.C. Department of Labor website. The program is also open to youth who are not currently attending school.

Employees are responsible for their own transportation to work. Transportation from one job site to another will be provided.

Mayor Chuck Allen is hopeful that the program will expand and provide additional jobs in future years.

"I think there are kids that need something to do in the summer," Allen said. "It's a great opportunity for the children in our community to start entering the job market. It makes our community better."