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Summer employment programs have become critical pipelines to engage youth and put them on a path for career longevity or further education.

Our Impact

Every summer, 150 youth work at more than 50 businesses and non-profit organizations to learn critical employment skills. A first job often means so much more than a paycheck. It can mean a connection to a lifelong mentor, the ability to envision a career path, a boost in self-confidence, an appreciation for the value of education, an off-ramp from a life on the streets, a belief that you can be something.


The Summer Jobs and More or JAM program, which has provided summer work opportunities for Erie County youth since 2013, has been retooled as a new yearlong workforce development program called Erie County Earn and Learn youth workforce program. GECAC's Earn+Learn program provides job readiness training, career exploration, and employment opportunities for youth living in Erie County. The program aims to expose youth and young adults to local industries and businesses that can absorb them as full-time employees.

Earn+Learn is a  collaborative effort between Erie County Government, Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority, GECAC, Erie Together, and other supportive individuals and organizations that have recognized the need to address employability issues for our disconnected youth population aged 14-21 years.


  • May: Information sessions and applications available
  • June 16: Youth application deadline 
  • June 12: Work-ready training Erie
  • June 15: Work-ready training Corry
  • June - August: Youth will work 180 total hours

Job Placement/Matching

Youth are matched with employers based on employer specifications, geographic proximity, and availability of reliable transportation for youth.


Tier 1:

  • Typically, ages 14-17 with little or no job experience. We are paying $8.25 an hour.
  • Will focus on job readiness training, soft skills, and work experience.

Tier 2:

  • Typically, ages 16-21 with previous job experience or career-oriented. We are paying $10 an hour.
  • Will focus on existing career opportunities in Erie County.

Informational Orientation Sessions

Interested youth and employers will be invited to informational sessions to learn about available jobs, locations, placement potentialand required paperwork.

Staff Support

GECAC staff works directly with youth and employers to provide communication, linkage, and job placements, as well as to troubleshoot and problem solves any challenges that arise during the summer.

Benefit to Employers

  • GECAC screens and trains the youth participating in the program and matches their skills and interests to a local business.
  • You help local youth to learn valuable life skills and gain practical work experience.
  • You'll have an opportunity to see what local talent can offer and to introduce youth to potential career paths.
  • You'll be assigned a dedicated job site team advisor to ensure a successful experience for both you and the youth worker.

Employer Handbook

Tier 1

  • GECAC covers all payroll taxes, worker's compensation, and 75% of wages
  • Employer covers 25% of wages per individual

Tier 2

  • GECAC covers all payroll taxes, worker's compensation, and 50% of wages
  • Employer covers 50% of wages per individual


Youth Application

 YOUTH APPLICATION 2023                                      

Please print this PDF form, sign it, and send it to:
Email:  jgates@gecac.org 
Attn: Earn+Learn
18 West 9th Street
Erie, PA 16501

Employer Application

To learn more about the program and to receive the application please contact:

Tier 1

Jamilia Gates
Earn+Learn Director
Greater Erie Community Action Committee
(814) 459-4581 ext.407

Tier 2

Mary Bula
Erie Together
(814) 240-8432

 Visit the Earn+Learn Facebook page

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Request More Info

Jamilia Gates
814-459-4581 Ext. 407