One of my top priorities, both personally and professionally, is to work hard to put the pieces in place that will help our community thrive, now and well into the future. The Youth Employment Services (YES) program continues to be one such opportunity for teens, which not only helps them find work, but also gives them the skills and education needed to succeed. This summer, the YES program provided work readiness and leadership skills training to more than 40 teenagers, ages 15 to 18, as well as employment assistance to help them get their foot in the door at businesses in Santa Clarita. By teaming up with College of the Canyons, City staff put on an informative presentation about a variety of career paths for teens, as well as the skill sets that are needed for advancement in the ever changing work environment. By connecting teens with businesses in our City through the YES program, teens are immediately given the opportunity to develop invaluable on-the-job experience that prepares them for future employment. Teens work with a range of companies in our valley, including those in the retail, entertainment, dining and education industries, as well as with the City of Santa Clarita itself. While they are in the program, YES participants develop critical thinking, problem solving, organizational and interpersonal skills that also translate to classroom success. The program, which also caters to youth from low-income families and those with special needs, also holds workshops on resume writing, job interview simulations and sessions on developing a strong work ethic. The benefit of the YES program is two-fold; teens develop the skills they’ll need for their careers and businesses get hardworking, local employees to help them achieve their goals. As a result, the community comes together to ensure the continued success of the local economy. I encourage business owners, from the smallest stores to the largest corporations in Santa Clarita, to learn more about becoming a partner with the City’s YES program. Your support is vital. Parents can also get more details on what the YES program entails and see if their teen is eligible by visiting the City’s website, at santa-clarita.com/YES. Preparing future generations for successful careers and ensuring that our local businesses have a solid workforce bolsters the economic vitality of our entire community, which is something I believe all of us can say a resounding YES to! Ken Striplin is the Santa Clarita City Manager and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.