YouthWorks Programs


YouthWorks offers a variety of career exploration and job readiness programs for youth ages 12-25, both in-school and out-of-school. YouthWorks' programs show youth how to explore careers, gain workplace skills, find a job, and tap into what southwestern Pennsylvania employers are looking for in entry-level employees. Click the links below to learn about each of our programs and sign up for more information.

JumpStart Success (JSS) Curriculum

What: JumpStart Success (JSS) is YouthWorks' signature job readiness and career exploration training curriculum for teenagers and young adults. Aligned with the PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work, which ensures that our region's youth are equipped with the core competencies associated with entry-level positions as well as the tools to navigate their individualized career plans.

Benefits: JSS can be purchased from YouthWorks and tailored to meet your organization's or students' specific needs.


HIRE Me Mentoring

What: HIRE Me is a free career preparation after-school program that provides work-readiness training, career mentorship, service learning opportunities, and career exploration experiences. 

Eligibility: Mentees must be between the ages of 12-17. Mentors must be willing to make a one-year commitment to the program, make a commitment to monthly outside activities with mentee, commit to weekly correspondence by email or text with mentee, pass a thorough background check and attend the mentor orientation and training provided.

Benefits: Young people who are engaged with a positive role models and equipped to navigate careers are more likely to see school as relevant, complete high school and post-secondary credentials, and transition to employment that launches careers.



What: HIRE Me is an after-school career exploration program for high school students that runs during the school year. HIRE Me focuses on: career exploration, job readiness training, and learning about post-secondary education options for high school youth.

Eligibility: High school youth.

Benefits: YouthWorks funds work opportunities at community based organizations and works with businesses in the area to provide first-time work experience. HIRE Me will be a pipeline for our summer employment program.



What: HIRE (Hiring Initiative to Ready future Employees) is the capstone experience for active YouthWorks participants, connecting them with quality internship and employment opportunities within corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility: Youth either must be enrolled in another YouthWorks program or will be referred directly from the City of Pittsburgh's Summer Youth Employment Program.

Benefits: HIRE focuses on paid internship and employment opportunities with local companies and nonprofit organizations.


RISE Project

What: RISE (Re-entry through Industry Specific Education) offers hands-on vocational education integrated with academics, life skills, and work readiness training; service learning; job shadowing; and internships for youth ages 17-24.

Eligibility: Youth ages, 17-24, with or without their GED or high school diploma; youth with criminal backgrounds or other significant barriers to employment.

Benefits: 8-12 weeks of free vocational training in a variety of fields, leading to a pre-apprenticeship certification through the Home Builders Institute. Participants receive supports such as help with transportation, free lunch during trainings, and a stipend and free set of hand tools upon completion of the program. A new benefit of the program is the addition of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania's free GED classes. Anyone needing their GED will be enrolled in Goodwill's free classes and can take all their GED tests at no cost.