COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Summer vacation is right around the corner and many central Ohio students are looking for summer jobs, something the city of Columbus is taking advantage of this May.

New this year is a summer job program aimed at diversity and creating skilled young people to work for the city.

It’s called the Leaders in Education to Advance a Diverse Columbus or LEAD-US program. It’s a summer youth enrichment program that wants young people to get more involved in city government.

City Council member Jaiza Page is behind the program, “It could be a graduate from high school or a college student,” Page said of the program.

LEAD-US is looking for young people aged 17-21 to apply for the program this summer.

About 30 will earn $12 dollars an hour while spending some time in the classroom learning job skills, and time shadowing and mentoring city employees, from elected officials to city managers. 

“We have recreation and parks managers, we have engineers for the city,” Councilmember Page said.
 
The program comes with a $78,000 price tag from the city.

According to Page, the money is well spent giving young people in the community new skills and keeping them active while they are out of school. 

“We can’t just sit back and have nine weeks where our young people are not doing anything,” Page said. 

The LEAD-US program runs for five weeks and new this year is a special focus on diversity.

Council member Page hopes it gives a new outlook for those involved but also inspires some to work for the city, or even run for office. 

“Just give our kids a holistic approach to life, and a whole new outlook,” Page said. 

The LEAD-US program is currently taking applications, the city will choose participants in early June, 2018. You can apply here: City of Columbus