SummerWorks Program Overview
This paid summer internship program targets youth from diverse backgrounds who are ages 16-24 with little or no work history. The primary goal is to prepare youth for the workforce by providing them access to free work readiness training and then placing them into entry and mid-level internship opportunities that will improve their individual skills for future jobs.

  • Candidates complete work readiness training before they are matched to internships
  • The SummerWorks program operator collects all employment documents and manages payroll
  • SummerWorks coaches assist in the internship placement and work with the youth and the worksite to make appropriate placements
  • SummerWorks coaches assist the intern and the worksite supervisor to develop the internship training plan and objectives
  • SummerWorks coaches support worksite supervisors if concerns arise
  • Interns receive one-on-one coaching assistance during the internship
  • Interns generally work about 180 hours over the summer, averaging 20-30 hours/week
  • Interns earn at least the Oregon minimum wage for the Portland Metropolitan Area
  • Interns can earn .5 high school credit by completing a SummerWorks portfolio

Program Funding
SummerWorks is a program of Worksystems. Worksystems is a local non-profit that coordinates a regional workforce system of employers, labor groups, government, community colleges, high schools, community-based and economic development organizations to deliver workforce development programs that help people get the skills, training and education they need to go to work or advance in their careers.

The SummerWorks program is funded by multiple sources. From federal, state and local grant funding to public and private business intern sponsorship, Worksystems raises funds year-round to support and expand this program.

Not only do these funds pay for intern wages, but they also pay for SummerWorks coaches to support interns during the program; they pay for other supportive resources, like transportation assistance, workplace clothing, tools and supplies; and they pay the fees and taxes associated with wages and payroll processing.

Recruit & Refer
Every year SummerWorks is expanding with the help of our community. You have connections in this community. Help us spread the word about this program! Refer youth. Refer colleagues. Refer employers.

  • The best time of year to begin referring employers is February – May
  • The best time of year to begin referring youth and colleagues is in April

Support Youth Referrals
Review the Youth pages to learn more about the program processes. Your guidance will help your referrals be successful!

Important note: Worksystems and SummerWorks program staff cannot share information about youth participants and their program progress with referral sources or community partners without an explicit release of information signed by the participant (and parent/guardian if applicable). Rather, we provide tools in the job seeker account for youth to share their progress with case managers if the participant chooses.

Become a Community Partner Organization
Worksystems partners with an array of Portland Metropolitan school systems, youth-focused non-profits, and other community groups to deliver a variety of programs. SummerWorks depends on our community partners to help us recruit and refer youth. When you become a community partner, you will receive communications about important dates and outreach efforts.

Contact Us

Become a WRT 101: Work Readiness Training Provider
Because WRT 101: Work Readiness Training is required for all youth interested in a SummerWorks internship or a Connect2Careers job, we are interested in working with community partners to deliver this training on-site to make it convenient for youth by minimizing transportation and other scheduling obstacles. Trainers will have access to the LaunchPath system to schedule and record attendance.

Training providers must:

  • Complete a Work Readiness Training Partner Agreement with Worksystems
  • Designate trainers to complete the New World of Work train-the-instructor session
  • Maintain appropriate trainer confidentiality and user agreements
  • Record all Work Readiness Training session dates, attendance, and outcomes in LaunchPath

Contact Us