BrookLynk Youth Jobs Program Awarded $125K State Grant
An organization dedicated to helping local youth get jobs just got a big funding boost. BrookLynk received a state grant that will work to break down employment barriers in two local cities.
“Integrating grant revenue allows for us to be able to also do more and to serve more,” said Catrice O’Neal, a workforce development program director with BrookLynk. “And to be really intentional about making sure that we’re providing high quality employment and training opportunities for young people to be able to build our future workforce here in the Brooklyns.”
BrookLynk is a program that helps young people between the ages of 16 and 24 from Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park find summer internships and learn essential job skills.
BrookLynk just received a $125,000 ‘Youth at Work’ grant from Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to help continue its programming.
“This additional funding allows for us to really provide more support services to respond to some of the barriers like transportation and childcare and housing that oftentimes our interns are facing and their families,” O’Neal added.
Currently, there are 96 teenagers and young adults working summer internships with 20 employers around the northwest metro.
That includes the city of Brooklyn Park, where Lina Ahmed is spending the summer working in the city’s communications department. One of her duties is to help promote the city’s Farmers Market.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with BrookLynk,” Ahmed said. “It gives me a chance to apply some of the knowledge and skills I previously had in the professional work space, and be able to network with some of these people that can help me advance my career in the future.”
A total of 47 organizations received more than $7 million in grants from the state. Each of those organizations provide job training opportunities for economically-disadvantaged and at-risk youth.