Cooks Creek Golf Club, Goodwill partner for Summer Youth Program

Not every job on a golf course is fun, but a group of local teens were up for anything as part of a special partnership between Goodwill and Cooks Creek Golf Club.

Cooks Creek joined a growing list of area employers partnering with Goodwill’s summer youth job program to give local teens their first experiences in the job market. Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio provided a job coach and paid the teens’ wages during the five-week program.

Cathy Cook, director of golf at Cooks Creek, called the teens exceptional for their willingness to take on any job including the “stinky” job of picking the range after flood waters receded and toughing it out in the heat. The teens also enjoyed getting the chance to drive a golf cart and hit some balls on the green.

“It is humbling to work alongside these folks as they displayed such a ‘can do’ spirit that our staff certainly noticed! Of course, learning a bit about golf and being able to drive the golf carts are usually the highlights of time spent here at the Creek, but it is easy to say Cooks Creek definitely benefited from our affiliation with Goodwill’s summer youth program,” Cook said, adding they may pick up a new employee or two from the experience.

This year, there were 34 teens from Pickaway, Ross, Fayette, Vinton, Hocking, and Pike counties who participated in the summer youth program. Most of the participants spent five weeks in the program. The first week was a classroom setting where they learned soft skills before working with a job coach at two different partnering businesses, spending two weeks in each job.

Meanwhile, eight of the teens chose to do unpaid career exploration for three weeks where they did mock interviews, job shadowing, and went to nine job sites.

So far, at least three teens have received job offers due to the summer youth program which took place throughout July.

Other job sites included Rural King, Big Lots, Ace Hardware, and Circleville City Parks in Pickaway County; Fayette County Parks and Recreation, Frisch’s, Dollar General, and Goodwill in Fayette County; Frisch’s, Shawnee Lanes, and YMCA of Ross County in Chillicothe; Ameristay Inn and Suites, and Pike County YMCA in Pike County; Campbell’s Market, and Maple Hills Nursing Home in Vinton County.

Goodwill has been offering the summer youth job program for more than a decade. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities makes referrals to Goodwill for the summer youth program and helps with funding.

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Photo cutline: Cooks Creek Golf Club Director of Golf Cathy Cook accepts a certificate of appreciation from Roger Bellar, lead job coach for Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio, at the conclusion of the summer youth program.

Media contact: Jona Ison,, 740-702-4000 ext. 135

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