APPS Job Readiness Program

APPS Job Readiness Program

The APPS Job Readiness Program (AJRP) is an empowering workforce development initiative designed for youth ages 14-23. The program is dedicated to equipping participants with the tools and experiences needed to confidently move toward future pursuits.

Throughout the program, participants embark on a comprehensive experience that includes skill development, real-world exposure, mentorship, networking, confidence building and career planning. Participants gain real-world, paid work experience with City departments and local businesses. Work experiences may include supporting youth in summer camps, helping to maintain parks, supporting golf course operations and more.* Youth development specialists provide linkage to support services and mentorship to ensure participants’ success.

Pay is $15 an hour, and participants can work up to 20 hours a week.

While most participants are a part of the program through the summer, there may be an opportunity to continue in the fall and winter.

For more information, please email

*Available work experiences vary; we will make every effort to match participants with work experiences that support career interests. 

2024 Program Year


All participants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Columbus resident and/or pay Columbus taxes
  • 14-23 years of age
  • Pass a drug test
  • Pass a background check (18+)

The following documents are required:

  • Birth certificate and/or Social Security card
  • Photo ID (state- or school-issued acceptable)


  • Feb. 1-29: Registration
  • Mid-February-Mid-April: Interviews
  • May: Mandatory enrichment training; sessions will be one day a week
  • June 36: Onboarding and site visits
  • June 10-Aug. 2: Work experiences
  • Aug. 5-9: Celebration and fun day

For participants who continue:

  • Sept. 16-Nov. 30: Work experiences
  • December: Break
  • January-May 2025: Work experiences

Dates are subject to change.

Work with Columbus' Youth

Become a Partner

The APPS Job Readiness Program (AJRP) is seeking partners for 2025. Partners are local organizations that employ youth in the program. Partners are dedicated to empowering young individuals by providing essential skills, fostering confidence and building resilience. A few things to know:

  • You will mentor the participant in business skills and life skills.
  • The participant will complete practical work tasks that help your organization – and help them learn and grow.
  • Our Youth Development Specialist will work closely with you and the participant to ensure the experience is positive for everyone.
  • The City pays the participant’s salary, you do not.

Applications are closed for 2024, but if you’re interested in becoming a partner for 2025, fill out the Partnership Interest Form. Our staff will initiate the qualification process to determine if your organization is a good fit.

Become a Youth Development Specialists

As a Youth Development Specialist (YDS), you’re dedicated to supporting and guiding our youth toward success. You will assist in skill development, career exploration and confidence-building. You will work closely with individuals, offering ongoing support to ensure that our youth are well-prepared for their professional journey. A few things to know:

  • Timeframe: This summer seasonal position runs from the end of May through August
  • Pay: $16+/hour
  • Age: 18+

Together, we are fostering growth, resilience, and empowerment for a brighter future.

Learn More and Apply



What is the APPS Job Readiness Program?

The APPS Job Readiness Program (AJRP) is a workforce development program for youths and young adults aged 14-23.

When does hiring start?

Hiring for 2024 begins Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 29.

When does the program end?

The summer portion of our program will conclude the week of Aug. 5-9.

How many hours are participants required to work?

There is no specific requirement for hours worked. Our placement sites collaborate with the participants to establish a reasonable schedule. The average maximum is 20 hours a week.

What placements are available?

We are currently accepting interest forms for partnerships across the City of Columbus. A more detailed list will be provided in the future.

How old does my child have to be to participate in the program?

For registration, the youth/young adult needs to meet the criteria during the registration process. For example, if they turn 14 on Feb. 14, they can apply on Feb. 15 because they now meet the requirements for registration.

Does your program provide bus passes to get to and from the work site?

We do provide a limited number of bus passes; there is an option to request one on the registration forms after drug tests and background screenings have been completed. If the participant is a Columbus City Schools student, their student ID substitutes as a bus pass during the summer.

How much will my child get paid per hour?

$15.00 per hour.

What is the criteria for my child to participate in the program?
  • All participants must be Columbus residents and pay Columbus taxes.
  • Must be 14-23 years of age.
    • Must pass a drug test.
    • Must pass a background check for 18+.
  • Must have a birth certificate and/or Social Security bard.
  • Must have a photo ID (state or school-issued acceptable).
Is there a year-round opportunity or only summer?

Some participants who have excelled in our summer programming will have an option to continue our fall and winter programming sessions.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any additional questions, please email