Youth Employment

Youth-Business Mentoring Program (YBMP)

Job training and placement for 14-17 year olds

Helping teens enter the job market

Common Wealth Development has been supporting area teens with training and enriching first job experiences since 1991. With the current economic climate, the unemployment rate for the nation’s teens is approximately triple that of adults. Our Youth-Business Mentoring Program helps level the playing field.

Job placement follows 2-week training

Our Youth-Business Mentoring Program provides youth an intensive two-week pre-employment training, followed by a job placement with a supportive business. We begin by teaching teens how to effectively find, apply for, and interview for jobs.

2022 Application

To apply, a youth must submit a youth application and have their parent or guardian submit the permission form. The links to the forms can be found on our website:

Once applications are submitted, a staff member will follow up with the applicant to discuss next steps. While we do accept applications on a rolling basis, there are specific deadlines applications must be turned in by to attend a specific training session.

UPCOMING TRAINING: January (Virtual) – 1/17 – 1/28, LaFollette – 2/14 – 2/25

Any questions can be directed to:

Ashley Hoeft, Youth Workforce Development Coordinator
(608) 620-7862 x 1563 or

YBMP Spring 2022 Dates


  • January (Virtual) – 1/17 – 1/28
  • LaFollette – 2/14 – 2/25
  • West – 3/14 – 3/25
  • Memorial (Virtual) – 4/11 – 4/22
  • East – 5/9 – 5/20

Common Wealth has served over

youth since 1991 through our award-winning youth programs

Wrap-around mentoring support

After a teen successfully completes our training, the real fun begins! We place participants in a real-world job and, together with their workplace supervisor, our staff mentor program participants during their job placements, focusing on how to keep and excel in a job once they have one. This double mentoring ensures a youth has the support he or she needs to make the most of their employment opportunity and overcome problems that may arise in a first job.


In addition to our Youth-Business Mentoring Program, we hold Employment and Financial Literacy Workshops at schools and other community agencies. This allows these organizations to provide their students with a broader curriculum and lets us teach more youth the basics of employment and finances.

Employment Skills: Tackling Job Search and Applications

The pre-employment portion of our workshops takes the mystery out of job hunting and reveals secrets of impressive job applications. Mock interviews allow students to learn how to answer typical interview questions. We focus on strengthening their skills and giving them the confidence to apply and interview successfully for their first job

Financial Literacy: Wisdom with Money

The financial literacy component of our workshops then helps youth understand how to maximize their paycheck once they start earning one. We teach them the basics of saving and budgeting, help them understand financial institutions, and discuss some big mistakes to avoid.

Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program

Since 2014, Common Wealth has partnered with the City of Madison to annually provide roughly 30 teens the opportunity to work paid summer internships with various City Departments. Initiated by Mayor Paul Soglin, this program aims to diversify the City of Madison staff to more accurately represent the residents they work for and represent. The program’s namesake, Wanda Fullmore, grew up in Madison and spent her career as an employee in the Mayor’s Office.

More than an Internship

Wanda Fullmore Interns do more than work for 8 weeks. They receive mentoring support from Common Wealth Development staff, complete professional development sessions, and are coached based on feedback communicated from City staff to Common Wealth mentors. This program is a unique opportunity for Madison youth to form valuable connections, gain exposure to different career paths, boost their resume, and represent the voice of Madison youth.

This year, youth will work an average of 16 hours per week, that time being divided amongst professional development Zoom calls, time working in-person at a City of Madison department (where positions are available), and time working on group community development and engagement projects (virtual and in-person). Youth will also come together on Fridays in-person to build community as a group and spend time in-person working together. Youth who are accepted into the program will receive a Chromebook to use during the program and keep upon program end, as well as bus pass to assist with getting to and from in-person activities. City department placements are limited, but all participating youth will have the opportunity to network and connect with community professionals through the project and other scheduled events.


Applications for the 2022 Wanda Fullmore Youth Internship Program are now open. Please read the information below and follow the links to apply.

Interested youth must either live in the City of Madison OR attend a Madison Metropolitan School. We prioritize youth who are in their Junior or Senior years of High School, but we welcome current High School youth ages 14 and up to apply. Wages start at $15.50/hour.

A completed application includes a YOUTH and PARENT/GUARDIAN application (both found at the links below). Youth must ALSO attend a virtual open interview time (dates are listed in the application) to be considered.

PLEASE NOTE: Interested youth and their parents/guardians must complete the Youth and Parent/Guardian Application forms and submit them by Friday, March 25th by 5:00 PM. Students must also attend a virtual open interview. Interview times are listed in the application. 


Program for Entrepreneurial and Agricultural Training (PEAT)

New to Youth Programs in 2018, after a short-lived involvement in 2009, PEAT partners Common Wealth Development with Neighborhood Food Solutions to place 9 YBMP participants in an urban agriculture, food-systems training and employment experience over the summer. Students in PEAT will do more than work on a farm—they will learn about what it takes to run a business, the ins and outs of food systems, the details of the urban agriculture world, and more. We are very excited to be a part of this project-based learning opportunity as we start to learn more about food systems in Madison.