Tim Johnson, 22, who has completed 300 JobX hours with Alaska Auto Repair & Sales working as a diesel mechanic, said he found JobX through the annual Job Fair.
"I think it's a pretty good program. They really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and got me kind of on track for my career," Johnson said. "It's been working out really good, and I'm expected to take diesel courses through UAS next fall and spring semesters."
Johnson commended JobX for its youth program managers, who he said are helpful and have good communication skills.
"If I have any questions about getting enrolled in classes at UAS, I can have a coordinator there from JobX to help me out," Johnson said. "If I change my mind about my career, I can call them up, and we can sit down to talk. So they're pretty much there just whenever I need it."
Evan Smith, 16, a JobX participant who recently completed the Alaska Military Youth Academy where he earned his GED, was hired by Myría Newport, Southeast customer services manager for the Department of Health and Social Services Information Technology, to work as an IT tech.
"Our collaboration with the JobX program has been beneficial to both the participants and our work site," Newport said. "We look forward to assisting them with their future career goals. This was a great experience."
Smith, who is "way over" his required 150 hours with JobX, said his reasoning for trying JobX was for the specialized job options.
"I wanted to get a job other than at a grocery store, something that would challenge me and be a learning experience," he said.
Smith offered a paid internship with Health and Social Services and plans to attend the University of Alaska Southeast this fall. Smith thanks JobX youth job developers Shannon Straight and Nicole Skeek for their help.
"My Xperience has been great," Smith said. "I think the best factor of the program is the people who are trying their hardest to make a difference. ... It has helped me out a lot. Without it, I wouldn't have this job."
Contact Neighbors editor Kim Andree at email@example.com or 523-2272.