Program Description

Program Overview:

The MY FIRST JOB program is a structured, three month employment opportunity for Out of School Youth (18 to 24 years old) who are enrolled in a youth-oriented (WIOA, YouthBuild, etc) program and who have had little or no full-time work experience. The program is designed to give these young adults a positive work experience and the chance to develop the job-related skills sought by all employers. Applicants for the MY FIRST JOB program must be referred to the program by an existing youth-oriented program such as YouthBuild®. During the three month program period, MY FIRST JOB participants will work full-time (40 hours on the job plus four hours in training per week) at YMCA of the Rockies - Snow Mountain Ranch. In addition to attending workshops and training designed to prepare them for a rewarding career and earning pay for time spent on the job, participants will receive all meals, lodging and other benefits.

The primary goals of the MY FIRST JOB program are to give young adults the opportunity to learn the values, skills and attitudes sought by employers and to document that they have had at least one successful work experience.

How does it work?

MY FIRST JOB participants work an average of 40 hours per week in one of three Snow Mountain Ranch departments (Food Service, Housekeeping or Center Services) and spend four hours per week in training. Because Snow Mountain Ranch is a four season, family resort, regardless of the participant’s primary work assignment, they may be asked to work a few hours each week in food service or housekeeping during exceptionally busy times.

MY FIRST JOB participants are required to attend workshops and training programs that focus on developing work-related and life skills such as communication, team-building, technology, fiscal responsibility, conflict management and leadership. Participants also receive training that provides stackable and transportable certificates. Applicants not possessing a high school diploma or their GED will have an opportunity to attend GED preparation classes.

All participants will have 30-40 hours of structured Life Skills training modeled after the KET Workplace Essential Skills Program. These classes are taught by Snow Mountain Ranch professional staff. Participants also receive training and certifications in one or more of the following areas: ServSafe, Customer Service, Safe Driving (with the possibility to obtain a driver’s license), Basic First Aid and CPR. Additional classes are scheduled based on need and interest. These classes are coordinated and/or taught by Grand County Higher Education in cooperation with Colorado Mountain College.

Purpose of the program

The purpose of the MY FIRST JOB program is to serve as a transition from the training that the applicant has received in a youth-oriented program to the real world of work. Snow Mountain Ranch staff coordinates the applicant’s work experience and training with the needs and recommendations of the sponsoring organization.

MY FIRST JOB provides each successful participant with documentation that they possess the skills, attitudes and values needed in the world of work, so that when they return to their community, they will be better able to secure employment. In addition, because participants earn a wage for their work, they can leave with funds that can assist in their new career pursuit. Participants have also reported secondary rewards such as learning about different cultures and diversity, learning how to manage their daily lives (washing clothes, cleaning room, reporting to work on time, etc), learning to be totally responsible for their behavior (time management, personal responsibility, interpersonal relations, etc), traveling (often for the first time on public transportation like an airplane) and being exposed to a beautiful area of the United States.

Session Dates and Deadlines:


Session 1

Session 2

Application Deadline

January 15, 2018

June 15, 2018

Start Date

February 26, 2018

August 6, 2018

End Date

May 25, 2018

November 9, 2018

Am I eligible?

Only youth enrolled in, and referred by, a youth-oriented program are eligible to apply. Be sure to read about Snow Mountain Ranch’s drug and alcohol policy, the description of your housing and food and what is expected of you as an employee of Snow Mountain Ranch. Do not apply unless you believe that you can benefit from the program.

Important program information

1) The Cost. There is no fee to this program, however, the applicant is responsible for the cost of transportation to and from Snow Mountain Ranch. Participant wages, room, meals, fringe benefits and employee benefits (like free skiing and snowboarding at several Colorado resorts) are provided by Snow Mountain Ranch as a condition of your employment.

2) The Location. The MY FIRST JOB program applicant will work at Snow Mountain Ranch - YMCA of the Rockies, live with 1-3 roommates in dormitories, with access on property to a pool, gymnasium, horseback riding, tubing park, zipline, over 100km of amazing hiking/skiing trails, snowshoeing, mountain biking, specially arranged trips to other Colorado locations and more.

YMCA of the Rockies - Snow Mountain Ranch is a “four season” family conference center and resort. During certain seasons, the resort may serve as many as 2,000 guests in various housing facilities (hotels, single and multi-family houses and a campground). Staff and most guests take their meals in a common cafeteria. Participants may on occasion be assigned to work temporally at Snow Mountain Ranch’s sister location, Estes Park Center.

Snow Mountain Ranch is located at 8,000 feet above sea level on 5,000 acres, 20 minutes from Winter Park Ski Resort, and about 30 minutes from Grand Lake and the western entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The nearest town is Granby, Colorado. The Denver airport is about 2 hours by car or shuttle. In general, if the applicant enjoys being out of doors, they will be happy at Snow Mountain Ranch, where we have over 100km of nordic skiing, mountain biking, and hiking trails on property.

Because Snow Mountain Ranch is located in the mountains, summers are mild, with temperatures ranging from a low of 45 degrees to a high of 80 with low humidity. Winters are, as expected, cold with snow. Even in the winter it is usually sunny, as Snow Mountain Ranch is located on a high, wide plain of rolling hills facing the Continental Divide. Employees will walk a bit to go from building to building. The resort is about a 15 minute drive from the nearest town (Granby) and 10 minutes to the closest fast food restaurant. When the Winter Park Ski Resort is open, Snow Mountain Ranch runs a daily shuttle to the mountain for staff.

Important program information

General YMCA of the Rockies Employee Requirements

  • Uphold and reflect the YMCA core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Faith in all functions.
  • Uphold the YMCA of the Rockies Mission, policies and programs.
  • Possess excellent customer service skills by being friendly, personable, helpful, patient and professional both with guests and with fellow staff.
  • Support the Association safety program through promoting safe work practices and a safe environment for guests, members and staff.
  • Promote a cooperative, positive and flexible atmosphere while working with others in a diverse environment.
  • Accept that employees may be required to work early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays depending on the position and time of the year. Meet acceptable criminal background check standards.
  • Meet acceptable criminal background check standards.


MY FIRST JOB participants are paid the same wage as seasonal staff. They are paid $220 a week plus room and board based on a 40- hour work week . There may be opportunities for the employee to receive overtime and/or seasonal bonuses. Employees receive three meals a day in our Commons Dining Hall. The food is a cafeteria style hot and cold buffet. All seasonal employees are covered under Worker’s Comp.


Snow Mountain Ranch has dorm style housing for seasonal staff and MY FIRST JOB participants. Participants are assigned rooms in the Blue Ridge staff housing complex where they could have 2-3 roommates (not all will be fellow MY FIRST JOB participants). Linens are provided; however, applicants are welcome to bring their favorite blanket, pillow, etc., from home.


We have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drugs on property; in addition, no drug use is tolerated (including marijuana) during your employment with us whether on- or off-duty.


You must submit three references with your application, including their name, phone number and email address. Two references must be completed by someone who knows you professionally (former or current manager, supervisor, teacher, professor, coach, pastor, etc.) and one reference must be a family member.


The YMCA of the Rockies operates two year round destination family resorts on each side of Rocky Mountain National Park: Estes Park Center located in Estes Park, CO; Snow Mountain Ranch located in Winter Park, CO; and Camp Chief Ouray, a summer resident camp for kids located on the Snow Mountain Ranch property. We hire year round staff, plus hundreds of seasonal staff, college interns and special program participants (like MY FIRST JOB participants) every year that want to experience the mountains and support our healthy spirit, mind, and body mission. Join us!


Please contact our Gap Program Supervisor at 970-887-2152 ext. 4119, or email