GOVERNOR PATRICK COMMITS $30 MILLION OVER TWO YEARS IN STATE & FEDERAL RECOVERY FUNDS TO CREATE 10,000 SUMMER JOBS FOR YOUTHS
Developing tomorrow's workforce today is part of Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure state's economic future
"Summer jobs keep young people engaged in something constructive and safe," said Governor Patrick. "Thanks to this innovative combination of state and federal recovery funds, we can give more kids than ever a chance to work, earn and learn this summer."
With summer approaching, Governor Patrick plans to combine $6.67 million from the state's YouthWorks summer jobs program with $3.1 million in public safety funds and $21.1 million in workforce development funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Governor's approach will maximize state and federal resources, helping to increase the number of jobs for young people between the ages of 14-24 to an estimated 10,000.
The federal recovery law provides the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce (EOLWD) with a total of $21.1 million through the Workforce Investment Act Title I Youth program to be distributed by federal formula to serve young people in 16 local workforce investment areas. In order to stimulate the economy immediately, EOLWD anticipates that a majority of the workforce development funds will be spent this summer.
EOLWD Secretary Suzanne M. Bump hailed the additional funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, noting, "Work is a critical developmental and learning opportunity for youth. Employers in the Commonwealth need to invest in their future pipeline of workers by hiring a teen this summer. We have the capacity through YouthWorks and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to subsidize private sector employment for eligible teens. If you are a business that would be able to hire a teen with or without a subsidy, we ask you to do consider doing so."
A total of $3.1 million in federal public safety recovery funds will create summer jobs in 35 new cities and towns, helping to reach young people in communities such as Revere, Methuen and Westfield. The state's YouthWorks program currently serves kids in larger cities such as Boston, Springfield, Worcester and New Bedford.
"This funding is critical to our efforts in the Commonwealth to prevent senseless violence," said Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke. "Using these funds to employ those who most often find themselves in harms way will take them out of the way and put them in safe spaces where they will earn money and hopefully learn bad behavior doesn't pay."
"I certainly share the Governor's priority. These funds are an important way to see that more young persons have greater opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful in the labor market," said Senator Edward Kennedy.
"These summer programs are a sound investment in our kids and our state's future. Our economy will benefit by putting people to work now while preparing the workforce of the next decade with the skills they need to be successful," said Senator John Kerry.
"As unemployment continues to rise, I am pleased that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help boost the number of job opportunities available for young people in Massachusetts. These summer jobs will put money in young people's pockets and could provide the Commonwealth's youth with valuable skills which will make them better prepared to enter the workforce," said Congressman John F. Tierney.
"Providing our young people with the opportunity to earn money while gaining work experience, skills-oriented training, and career exposure is a smart investment," said Congressman John Olver. "In this struggling economy jobs are hard to come by for everyone, including young adults. We cannot afford to have an entire generation missing out on the many lessons learned from a summer job. Our economy's health in the future depends on investing in programs like this today."
Creating and maintaining jobs and developing tomorrow's workforce are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:
· Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
· Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
· Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.
If you want to hire a teen or if you are a teen looking for work you can call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-968-8461. For more information about more information about what the federal recovery law means for Massachusetts, please visit www.mass.gov/recovery.