LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's only the second week of winter, but hundreds of people in Metro Louisville are already looking for summer jobs and local companies are working to make sure they're not left out in the cold.

Many companies are part of the mayor's Summer Works Champions program. Youth can sign up now to get VIP access that will allow them to hit the ground running in the summer.

Marvin Stewart is a freshman at Eastern Kentucky University, he is spending his Christmas break on the laptop, looking for a summer job.

"I'd better do it now than later because right now, the jobs will be open, there will be stuff to do instead of waiting until the last minute then I may have to work somewhere that I may not want to work," said Stewart.

Stewart is one of hundreds of local youth registering online. He is hoping to get a head-start on the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Showcase.

"I know it seems like a long time away, but summer will be here before you know it," said Cindy Read, Deputy Director Kentuckiana Works.

Read said Stewart is on the right track. That's even though summer is still several months away. "If they go online right now and register for the mayor's youth opportunities showcase in February, they'll have opportunity to take some work readiness training," he said. 

Anyone who does that will be given a VIP badge.

"Employers have told us that they value this credential because they know the youth have prepared, they've learned how to get and keep a job and it'll just set them apart," said Read.

Ann Thomas is general manager of Mark's Feed Store on Bardstown Road, the restaurant is one of more than 25 employers already signed up for the jobs program, she said they're looking for long-term summer help. "They come back during the summer for us, which is our peak season, so they come back and it helps add on to our staff and it's a doubled win-win for them."

Thomas said they'll also be looking for the VIP badges. "Those kids with those VIP set themselves aside because they do have a different demeanor, they have a different mentality and it makes a big difference," he said.

That's why Marvin Stewart feels confident his time on the laptop will payoff.

"It is easier right now because I'll stand out more applying earlier, it'll make me look a lot better," said Stewart.

The job fair will be held on Feb. 14 at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

To sign up for the VIP training, click here.

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