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Youth Employment and Steps to Success

The Challenge

Maine is facing a workforce challenge. With historically low unemployment – under 4 percent for 29 consecutive months – the YES Campaign focuses on the many opportunities for teens in Maine. Young workers learn how to work well with others, to respect and have self-control, and develop good time-management skills and personal responsibility---all important attributes that will serve them well in their personal, educational and professional lives.

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    Say “YES” to that First Job

    Youth Employment and the Steps to success seeks to boost youth employment this summer. We will help young people think about what employment “Steps” mean to their personal definition of “Success” – work, pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, college, trades school, career paths, etc.
    Introducing teens into the workforce helps:

    • Build confidence, self-reliance and independence;
    • Understand the responsibility and value of having their own money; and
    • Cultivates soft skills that many employers crave in today’s workers.

    Together with our partners, we’ll:

    • Increase the number of work permits issued by 50% (4,261 in 2017);
    • Support, promote and encourage 14- and 15-year-olds as they search for that first job;
    • Improve the efficiency of the Work Permit process;
    • Educate employers how they can be a part of building Maine’s future workforce; and
    • Leverage every possible resource to forward these goals.

    YES, it’s that Easy

    Employer must have a stamped, approved work permit on file before allowing any minor under 16 years old to work.

    1. Minor has a promise of a job
    2. Minor brings proof of age and parental permission to school superintendent’s office
    3. Superintendent’s office completes Work Permit and submits to Maine Department of Labor (MDOL).
    4. MDOL reviews Work Permit to ensure minor is of legal age and that the occupation is safe.
    5. MDOL validates the Work Permit and returns a copy to the superintendent’s office.
    6. Superintendent’s office provides a copy for the employer. The minor cannot work until the Department of Labor approves the Work Permit.

    YES Information

    Project Partners

    This is the Maine Department of Education's  logo.

    This is the Jobs for Maines Graduate's logo.

    This is the Maine Department of Economic and Community Deverlopment logo.


    This is the Maine Department of Labor's CareerCenters logo.

    This is the Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Rehabiliation Services.


    This is the Maine Tourism  Association's logo.

    This is the Maine Innkeepers Association's logo.

    Classes are delivered in partnership with Maine Department of Labor, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG), Bureau of Employment Services, Bureau of Labor Standards, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Maine CareerCenters, Aroostook County Action Program, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Workforce Solutions, Western Maine Community Action, Central Western Maine Workforce Development Board, Coastal Counties Workforce Board, and Northeastern Workforce Development Board.
    Maine CareerCenters provide a variety of employment and training services at no charge for Maine job seekers, of many demographics and of any age, and businesses. Visit for more information and a list of locations.
    The Bureau of Labor Standards helps workers and businesses make their worksites safer, upholds standards for minimum wages, child labor and other practices, and gathers information on the rapidly changing world of work in Maine today—and in the future. Visit and for more information about no-cost services and online resources.