Youth Jobs

I grew up in a mid-sized town in Florida. One day at a school assembly in the gym or cafeteria a person from Bob Evans came to speak to my high school about the franchise they were about to open up near the interstate. They were taking applications for waitstaff, bussers, etc and said it would be great after school work. I and a bunch of my friends applied. A guy named Michael from my group of friends got the job and held it from the time he was a junior until graduation. I, miffed that I didn’t get hired, started applying at other places around town and got a job at the Winn-Dixie at the age of 16. One of my friends got a job there too as bagger then stocker but about a year later got fired after an angry exchange with the store manager. Closer to DC and this century, my cousins in Laurel had the typical high school jobs working in the food service industry at the multi-national corporations of Pizza-Hut and Wendy’s.
So someone explain to me the city’s summer jobs programs. I’m a bit confused. Can’t kids get year round after school jobs? Which I believe is good prep for balancing college and “work-study”. So far this year we’ve seen youth produced green litter, tree destruction, and vandalism?/shoddy workmanship.
Before this year my knowledge of the program came from my (now retired) aunts’ description of whatever city sponsored intern was assigned to her at NGS. Some students were hits, with a great attitude, self-motivated, and talented with a wonderful work ethic. But there were several misses, of students who didn’t follow instructions, barely showed up on time, and screwed up so badly that she had to undo their work/damage. The bad ones were sometimes so clueless to their poor work that one asked for a referral letter. Then again, I’ve encountered college aged interns that bad too.
Getting back to the city program, what I don’t get is do these kids, or don’t they, have after-school work opportunities throughout the year? Is it cheaper than summer school, which serves the same purpose of keeping them out of trouble?
I guess what I’m trying to say is this large city sponsored youth employment thing is foreign to me. I’m not entirely sure what it succeeds in doing well. So somebody explain it to me.