Friday, March 27, 2009

Public Funding Relieves Scarcity of Teen Jobs

Boston will spend almost $9 million this year on summer jobs for young people ages 14-24. The announcement about jobs funding took place today at the Mission Hill Main public housing development in Roxbury.

Helping to pay for the jobs over the next two years is more than $21million in funding for Massachusetts from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to the stimulus money, the state’s providing almost $10 million from the YouthWorks program and public safety funds. Boston's level-funding its contribution to summer jobs this year at $4 million.

Mayor Thomas Menino says the funding will provide Boston with 5,000 jobs. To meet a goal of 10,000 jobs, the city hopes once again for additional support from the private sector.

City officials say they still need to find jobs for as many as 4,000 more teens. The city’s job registration period ended March 16.

“Eight thousand young people applied to the HOPE Line this year,” said Menino. “That’s why we need the private sector to step up to the plate.”

Menino says public funding for summer jobs is “favorable” compared to amounts in past years, and Governor Deval Patrick noted increases in summer job spending by the state since he was elected. But his Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development, Suzanne M. Bump, says the overall job market for teens across the country is at a 60-year low. She said teen employment was currently at 38%, and 21% in low-income communities.

Applicants and employers can get more information about the YouthWorks program by calling 1 866 968-8461 . Also: information about jobs for teens from low-income families provided by ABCD.