Nine Chamber members have taken  advantage of an innovative  Chamber of Commerce  project that matched  youth ages 16-24 with  summer internships.

The Chamber recruited and pre-screened  interested youth using  WorkKeys, a work skills  assessment product  administered by ACT  (the same ACT that tests  for college placement  qualifications).

More than 30 candidates took the three-hour  battery of tests to  establish their “readiness  to work” in skill areas  such as math, reading  for comprehension,  finding information, and  reasoning.

Participating businesses provided job descriptions  that were classified  using ACT guidelines to  determine the minimum  scores in each area that a  candidate would need to  be considered qualified  for the position.

The Chamber then provided a qualified  candidate pool to each  interested business for  them to use in hiring one  or more interns.

Each young person who passed the tests received  a national “readiness to  work” certificate signed  by Gov. Martinez.  Member businesses and  organizations who have  hired or are in the process  of hiring an intern are Terranear, Enterprise  Computing Systems,  Family Council, Strategic  Management Solutions,  Best Western Hilltop  House Hotel, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area,  KRSN AM1490, Los  Alamos Fitness Center,  and the Fuller Lodge Art  Center.  The Chamber is helping wthe member businesses  and organizations to be  able to participate by  reimbursing up to half  of the wages paid to the  intern.

The Chamber obtained  the resources to be able  to do this project through  a partnership with  Innovate-Educate New  Mexico and the Kellogg  Foundation’s New  Options project.

“We still have great  young candidates  available to businesses  looking for summer help,”  says volunteer project  coordinator Shari Jobe.

“Just let the Chamber  know if you want to take  advantage of the prescreened  candidate pool.”  Contact Katy Korkos at  505.661.4816 or Don  Wright at 505.661.4854