More TeenQuest grads prepared for summer jobs

GENESEE COUNTY — The final TeenQuest class of the 2013-14 school year graduates March 27, bringing to 733 the total number of teens aged 14 to 19 that have been prepared for the workplace this program year, according to a press release from the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which operates the youth leadership training program.

Students from Carman-Ainsworth High School are among those who have participated in the five-week training program designed to help them develop marketable skills and be better equipped to keep a job once hired.

TeenQuest graduates are said to have an advantage over their peers, especially considering that teen unemployment is at record high levels.

“We have found that young people who have a work experience when they’re 16 or 17 are far more likely to succeed in a job later on,” said Carol Rivchun, head of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, in an interview on Public Radio’s Marketplace Morning Report March 5.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 26 percent of teens in the U.S. are employed, compared to the previous year when 46 percent of teens were employed.

Students participating TeenQuest learn about the expectations of employers, how to set goals, manage conflict and write a resume. TeenQuest graduates are skilled with workplace ethics, taking initiative and business etiquette, and they have been put to the test in mock interviews.

“First impressions are made in seven seconds,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education and Training for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“TeenQuest gives teens the skills they need to make a good first impression to get a job, and then continue to impress employers to keep that job,”

Not only is TeenQuest is a pre-employment and leadership training program, it is also a pre-requisite for employment through the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), which matches employers with TeenQuest graduates for summer employment in Genesee County. It is through SYI that many teens gain that coveted first paid work experience. The SYI Job Fair is scheduled for April 26.

Applications to sign up for TeenQuest next year are available in the high school guidance office.

Maxwell Montney, a 2013 C-A honor grad has created a youtube video about his experience in TeenQuest. View it at

For more information about the TeenQuest advantage and the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), or to become an SYI employer, contact Rhetta Hunyady at or Paul Stainbrook at

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