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SummerWorks Youth Gain Job Skills at Chickasaw Park
Kentucky Ag Connection - 07/28/2020

An incoming Kentucky State University freshman was recently featured on WLKY for his work through the SummerWorks program in Louisville.

Taymon James, a recent graduate of Valley High School, was featured on the news program for learning heavy construction skills while working in the SummerWorks program at Chickasaw Park.

James told WLKY the work was hard, but he ended up liking it a lot.

"I thought it would be hard, but I ended up liking it very well. I learned how to use tools I never thought I would," James said. "Like you ride down the street and you see construction workers using the tools, you don't think much of it but I actually got in it and it was really cool.

James works for Jefferson Memorial Forest through the city's SummerWorks program, which helps 16 to 21-year-olds learn valuable job skills and gain work experience while earning money. Tala Alasad is a job coach for SummerWorks, and said the program also focuses on interviewing and building a resume.

"It helps them prepare for the future. It helps them grow as individuals. Especially in this age. Those youths are trying to figure out what they want. They're trying to figure out where they're going to head in life," Alasad said.

Kenneth Rhodes works for Jefferson Memorial Forest and has been supervising the Chickasaw Park project. He serves as a mentor to the young people in SummerWorks and said the program has a lot to offer everyone involved.

"I didn't get introduced to these types of opportunities until later in life, so for me to see them get an opportunity that I got later a lot earlier, it brings a lot of joy to me because I know that this will open your mind to a lot of things. You won't put yourself in a box at all. You really will believe that you can do it," Rhodes said.

The SummerWorks program is open to teens and young adults. You must be a resident of Louisville to participate. You can sign up through the program's website.

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