Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Columbia Parks and Recreation
Located in the Armory Sports Center
701 East Ash, 2nd floor
Columbia, MO 65201
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"Investing in our Youth, Investing in our Future"
What is C.A.R.E.?
The City of Columbia's Career Awareness Related Experience (C.A.R.E.) Program's goal is for Columbia's youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens. Since 1982, the C.A.R.E. program has provided comprehensive services for Columbia's at-risk youth that include:
The C.A.R.E. program hires at-risk 14- to 20-year-olds who live in the City of Columbia, MO and/or attend a Columbia, MO school, and places them at local businesses, where they gain much needed real-world hands-on work experience. One hundred percent of the trainees' wages are paid by C.A.R.E., which is administered through the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.
High-risk teenagers face many barriers to joining the labor force, especially in Columbia, MO because of substantial competition from thousands of college students for the available entry-level jobs. Lack of job readiness skills, employment experience, positive adult role models, career exposure, and life skills training can lead to adolescents being unemployed and/or underemployed, which can lead to increased:
Unemployment also impacts communities. Unemployed individuals are unable to contribute to public taxes, lowering a community's tax base. In addition, taxpayers incur higher spending to cover the social costs of welfare, healthcare and incarceration. Clearly, communities as a whole also benefit significantly when their young people are prepared to become self-reliant adults.
A particularly stressful summer of youth violence and unrest in Columbia's central city, a high level of youth employment, and the untimely reduction in Federal youth employment programs compelled a group of community leaders to meet during the summer of 1981 to form a steering committee. Their goal was to learn about the violence and employment challenges facing the youth of Columbia and to make recommendations regarding what to do about it.
By 1982, this steering committee established a pilot program to provide meaningful employment for 150 low-income Columbia youth, ages 14 to 20. This program was initially funded by an appropriation from the City Council and a grant received from the Columbia Board of Education. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department provided the facilities and staff to administer the program, which was named C.A.R.E., an acronym for Career Awareness Related Experience.
The C.A.R.E. Program was created because of the vision and efforts of this steering committee, which included several long-time Parks and Recreation employees, including the late Wynna Faye Elbert. C.A.R.E. began more than 30 years ago for the same reason it is still needed today, which is for Columbia's youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens.
How Does it All Work?
C.A.R.E. depends on partnerships with area companies (work site partners) to provide the work sites and the real-world hands-on work experiences for its trainees, however, 100 percent of the trainees' wages are paid by C.A.R.E. There is zero financial cost to the work site partners.
Work site partners are investing in our future by investing in our youth, while at the same time receiving free labor. The youth trainees gain valuable employment experience and life skills while earning a paycheck. C.A.R.E. is a win-win situation for the trainees, the work site partners and the Columbia community as a whole.
Want to MAKE A DIFFERENCE while getting FREE labor?
For more information on how your company can make a difference and get free help, contact Ron Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-874-6377.
C.A.R.E. Summer Program*
C.A.R.E.’s Summer Program is its original and largest program. C.A.R.E. offers an eight-week summer program in which approximately 155 14- to 20-year-old trainees are hired at minimum wage to work up to 20 hours per week at a variety of local work sites. Interested youth may apply online at https://www.gocomojobs.com/postings/search from January 1 to February 5 (search for C.A.R.E. Summer Trainee).
C.A.R.E. Art Gallery (Summer)*
The C.A.R.E. Art Gallery serves as a visual arts work site for the C.A.R.E. Summer Program. Approximately 15 creative youth are given the opportunity to work as paid artists (minimum wage) for eight weeks. Art Gallery trainees work with and learn from professional artists. They participate in art activities designed to enhance their existing skills and knowledge. Art Gallery trainees learn about artistic techniques,a variety of media, and create their own artwork. Interested youth may apply online at https://www.gocomojobs.com/postings/search from February 6 to March 16 (search for C.A.R.E. Art Gallery Summer Trainee).
The Gallery is funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
Camp Salsa (Summer)*
Camp Salsa is also an 8-week summer program. It is a collaborative academic/employment effort between the C.A.R.E. Program, MU Family Impact Center, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Public Schools, and Centro Latino.
Camp Salsa provides opportunities for about 15 local high school students to work from beginning to end on a project to foster skills that can be transferred into the workforce. The main components of the Camp Salsa experience are:
Completed applications are due to the Family Impact Center (105 E Ash Street, Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65203) or email@example.com by at least April 15, 2016. For more information, please contact Sara Hughes at (573) 882-2428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Trainees may only participate in one C.A.R.E. summer program each summer (either the summer program, art gallery, or camp salsa)
Important 2016 Summer Program Dates
Boone County Family Resources’ mission is to enable Boone County residents with developmental disabilities to thrive in the community, connect with others, and achieve their personal goals. C.A.R.E. partners with BCFR to provide real-world hands-on experience, mentoring, life skills training, resources for educational pursuits, resume building assistance, and individualized goal setting guidance for clients who have developmental disabilities and are at risk for unemployment and underemployment.
Participants in this program also receive specialized support at the work site. Trainees may work up to 10 hours per week (up to 20 hours per week during the summer) and earn minimum wage. Just like the Summer Program, C.A.R.E. places these youth at a variety of area work sites. Clients must be referred to the C.A.R.E. program by BCFR, which provides much of the funding for the program.
School Year Programs
C.A.R.E.’s school year programs include its:
2015 Work Site Partners
Special thanks to our 2015 work site partners for their participation. Without them, the C.A.R.E. program simply would not exist.
|A Cut Above the Rest||
Columbia Pet Center
|A Discovery Zone||Columbia's Finest||ParkSide SkateShop|
|A Good Start Daycare||Como Smoke and Fire||Phoenix Health Programs|
|A Step Above||Cuts Limited Hair Styling||Play It Again Sports|
|A World of Discoveries||Cynergy Health||Pro Kutz|
|Academy of Early Childhood Learning - South||Daniel Boone Regional Library||Quantum Wireless and Internet|
|Access Arts (School of Service, Inc)||Diggit Graphics||Ranch House BBQ|
|All Dogs and Cats||Donut D-Light||Roto-Rooter|
|Arris' Pizza||Douglass High School||
Shakespeare's Pizza South
|Atkins Building Services and Products Inc.||Fashions by Anna Linzie||Shakespeare's Pizza West|
|Battle High School||For His Glory Inc.||Shalom Christian Academy and Daycare|
|Beauty & Beyond Salon||Fun City Youth Academy||Soccer Pro|
|Bob McCosh Chevrolet||G&D Pizzaria||Ste. 517 Law Offices|
Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council
|Gaines Detailing||Superior Detailing|
Boys & Girls Club of Columbia
|Going Bonkers||Sylvan Learning Center|
Brock's Auto Body
|Harmony's Treasure Box||The Salvation Army|
|Camp Salsa||Head Motor Company||The School House Daycare|
|Carlito's Cabo||Hickman High School||Tiger Tinting and More|
|Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center||Jimmy's Family Steakhouse||Turn the Page Child Development Center|
|Centro Latino||Job Finders||U Knead Sweets|
|Child Learning and Development Center||JT's Cutz||UCP Child Development Center|
|City of Columbia Document Support Center||Keene Dental Care||University of Missouri Law Library|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation-ARC (aquatics)||Key Largo Fitness||University of Missouri School of Social Work|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation- ARC (facility)||Lakewood Lawn and Garden Showplace||
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation - ARC (office)||Latter House Childcare Center||USDA Agricultural Research Service--Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation STARS camp||Makes Scents||Value Giant Thrift Shoppe|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Sports Turf||Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center||Varsity Clips|
|City of Columbia Stormwater Utility||Maude Vintage Clothing and Costumes||Woodhaven|
|Columbia-Boone County WIC Program||Moving Ahead Program||Youth Empowerment Zone|
|Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture||Ms. Kim's Fish and Chicken Shack||Youth Empowerment Zone/King's Kids|
|Columbia Chamber of Commerce||MU Health Care|
|Columbia Daily Tribune||Nanny's Neighborhood Childcare Center|
|Columbia Jazzercise Center||New York Deli|
|Columbia Mall||Nora Stewart Early Learning Center|