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Looking for a summer job? | Greensboro Police teen job initiative continues for second year

The program, created by Greensboro Police Chief Brian James, aims to connect local teens with summer job opportunities.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Now entering its second year, the '500 Jobs GSO' initiative continues to connect Triad teenagers with job opportunities for the summer.

"(An) idle mind is the devil’s workshop," said '500 Jobs GSO' Executive Director Tifanie Rudd. "So we are trying to make sure that their minds are more driven on success opportunities, making money, just being occupied."

The program was created by Greensboro Police Chief Brian James as a way to help keep teens off the streets and reduce crime in Greensboro. 

"Making the community safe doesn't always involve making an arrest and the thing we have seen over a number of years is that we have quite a bit of crime over the summer and the way to combat that is to give our youth opportunities," James said.

James plans to retire at the end of May, but Rudd said his work will continue on through the program.

RELATED: Greensboro Police Chief Brian James talks about retirement, future

"Our hearts are broken that he is retiring," Rudd said. "I think we are all still trying to digest that but however, we will have this part of his legacy because this is his vision that took place."

On Saturday, the group held a job fair with several employers including Amazon, Grandover Resort and Spa, and Ralph Lauren. The program is open to Guilford County residents ages 14-21. Rudd said teenagers were waiting outside before they even started to get into the event. 

"I got so excited about the outcome (Saturday) because my heart was filled because the youth (were) waiting on us," Rudd said. 

The program is a partnership between several organizations, including the police department and Guilford Works. 

"Just seeing the growth, seeing the community come together collectively, the employers who all were eager to sign up and just seeing them lined up at the door. This has been a truly phenomenal, wonderful opportunity for the community as well as our organizations," said Dr. Danielle Harrison with Guilford Works. 

RELATED: GPD keeps working to get teens hired this summer

Christian Davis got a job last year at TPS Group through the program. 

"So (the program) allowed me to expand my mind in a way that I could see different things that I could achieve," Davis said. "I knew that I loved finance and (Tifanie Rudd) introduced me to people that were in the finance industry and that allowed me to excel tremendously.."

Now Davis is a youth leader for the organization, helping other teens connect with job opportunities. 

"It's empowering the youth in our community, it's economic empowerment," Davis said. 

There will be another job fair on May 21.

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