Wearing a crisp white shirt and tie, Jeremiah Wright walked into a Workforce Solutions career fair hoping to land his first summer job.
"I really was looking for something in the culinary food industry," said Wright. "But right now, I want any job basically."
He is one of thousands of teens that the city of Houston wants to help put to work this summer season.
At the city’s six summer job fairs, young workers are getting advice on writing resumes and preparing for interviews.
"They teach you how to dress and what you are supposed to wear," explained Wright, adding that it was his mother who encouraged him to come to the job fair.
Dozens of local employers, including Domino's Pizza, Denny's and the Houston Zoo, have pledged to hire some 5,000 young adults during the summer season.
They have also promised to pay the temporary workers $8 an hour, above minimum wage.
Michelle Ramirez of Workforce Solutions says a summer job has more benefits than just pay for young employees.
“They will learn how to go to work, how to be successful at work, how to work on a team and how to solve problems,” she said. “This will be one of the first steps toward building a career.”
Speaking at Saturday’s job fair at the Workforce Solutions office in southeast Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner remembered the first day of his first job as a young teen -- helping an electrician run wire underneath a home.
"My shirt was all muddy, my pants were all muddy," said Turner. "I told my momma, 'that's it - I ain't going back!'"
But his mom, who worked as a maid at the Rice Hotel, urged him to return.
"She said, 'Son, sometimes we do things not because we want to, but because we have to.' But she would always say, 'tomorrow will be better than today'," a lesson that stuck with Turner. "I am now standing before you as the mayor of the fourth largest city in the country.”
The city will be hosting three additional job fairs:
May 20 - Acres Homes Multi-Service Center
June 3 - George R. Brown Convention Center
June 10 - Southwest Multi Service Center
Each job fair runs from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
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