Youth Employment Programs

COOL Directions School-Year Career Counseling

Norwich Youth & Family Services offers the "COOL Directions Program" (Careers Of Our Lives), a youth employment program for low-income* 16, 17, and 18-year olds who are in school. We engage and prepare in-school youth from the Windham, Danielson, Norwich and New London area (aged 16-18, a high school junior or senior who meet the WIOA eligibility guidelines and have barriers to employment).

The program provides:

  • Academic Support, Career Assessment, and Transition Planning,
  • Career exploration and labor market information, Job placement/internship/
  • Job placement/internship/work-based learning opportunities,
  • Portfolios documenting all components of the COOL Directions Pipeline program,
  • Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurial Skills, Basic Skills in Reading and Math and Life Skills Training,
  • Youth Mentorship with a caring adult
  • Leadership, communication and team building skill development.

An integral component of the COOL Directions program is the temporary paid internship experience. Participants will apply and be interviewed for individualized worksite internships that are related to the youth’s career ladder/pipeline interests, and foster growth in work readiness skill development.

Kids from Summer Youth Employment Coordinator posing at work

Summer Youth Employment Program

Norwich Youth & Family Services also offers a Summer Youth Employment Program. Students, aged 14-21, will work for about 5 weeks in the summer on our dime, pending funding. Applications will be available April 1st. 

SYEP Worksites offer employment opportunities where youth can find the link between work and training, providing a job experience that is learning-rich and that includes feedback and support. Among the participating businesses are Backus Hospital, Connecticut College, Connecticut Tigers, Goodwill, Johnny’s Clam Shack, the Slater Museum, local municipalities and more.

Job functions may include but are not limited to assisting with medical records, patient care, childcare, clerical work, library aides, museum aides, maintenance, food preparation, customer service, program assistance, and gardening.

There are income requirements to qualify for the program, and everything required is listed in the Summer Youth Employment Program Application. We will not be able to interview Youth who submit incomplete applications.

Anyone with questions may call Norwich Human Services at 860-823-3778.


 Kate Milde
​ Youth & Family Services
​ 100 Broadway, Rm 212
​ Norwich, CT 06360
​ 860-823-3778

​ *Note that these programs target families at the Federal Lower Living Levels

​ Youth Employment Programming is made possible through funding from the Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board.