For Immediate Release - March 14, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES $8 MILLION IN SUMMER JOBS FUNDING

Funding will put 4,000 Young People to Work for Summer 2014

YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program

Governor Patrick discusses the YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program with Metro North-area youth and community members at the Malden YMCA. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office)

MALDEN – Friday, March 14, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian, local elected officials, youth job advocates and a number of young people to announce $8 million dollars in state funding for the YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program. The subsidized program is expected to put 4,000 at-risk teens and young adults to work in summer camps, daycare centers, cities and towns, non-profits, state agencies and private sector firms to gain valuable work experience, which can build stronger and safer communities. 

"These jobs are essential to providing our Commonwealth's at-risk youth with a better opportunity for a brighter future, while creating safer communities across the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. “The program offers our youth career skills and a roadmap for using those skills to build a strong foundation for their future.”

This funding underscores the Patrick Administration’s continued investment in the YouthWorks Program, a summer jobs program that provides subsidized employment to low-income and at-risk youth ages 14-21 in 31 communities across the Commonwealth. These employment opportunities provide youth with job experience, beneficial career skills and a chance to give back to their communities. Since Governor Patrick took office, the YouthWorks program has grown from $4.7 million in the summer of 2007 to $10 million in the summer of 2013. 

“The YouthWorks program enjoys broad support from the legislature, stakeholders and young people for a reason,” said Secretary Kaprielian. “Providing young people with an outlet to earn wages and gain valuable skills during the summer months plays an integral role in harnessing the potential of our future leaders.”

“We are grateful for the support of Governor Patrick, the MetroNorth Regional Employment Board and Malden’s Community Outreach Manager Karen Hayes who coordinates our local effort,” said Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. “The program is an investment in our future by offering our youth the chance to become better prepared for the workplace, develop important skills and gain exposure to career opportunities.”

In Malden, 22-year-old Cynthia Ocedueda gained employment at her first job at a day care center through the Youthworks Program. She then went on to become a mentor at a youth program.

"Academic skills are important, but we need to learn the skills necessary for work,” said Ocedueda. “Through YouthWorks, I learned to communicate in a professional way. Now I'm in college studying chemical engineering and I have an opportunity to manage a nanotechnology project, overseeing deadlines and project members. All the skills I have come from what I learned on the job.”

“I succeeded in business and life based on the support and encouragement of similar programs,” said Vonel Lamour, owner Excella Graphics in Malden and YourthWorks community partner. “I count it an honor to participate in YouthWorks which will give Bay State teens practical work experience. We all agree that developing our next generation through YouthWorks, while connecting them with local business, is a win-win for the entire community. The Governor should be applauded for his efforts on behalf of our young people.”

“What impresses us most about the Malden Youthworks program is the quality of the application process,” said Gretchen Harrison, an HR Director at Harvard Medical School. “It strongly encourages students to be thoughtful in completing their materials.  As a result the matches with employers not only set students up for a successful placement but also prepares them for the future workplace by employing best practices in career development.”

The Governor has proposed a $12 million investment for the program in FY15, which continues the trend of fiscally responsible funding for the program, and will ensure that youth will have the same opportunities during the summer of 2015. Last summer, 5,175 young people in 31 cities in Massachusetts successfully completed summer employment opportunities. Youth were employed at diverse sites ranging from the Gateway City Arts Program in Holyoke to veterinary assistants in Worcester and Teen Curators who gave historical walking tours in Boston’s South End neighborhood. An investment of $12 million for FY15 is projected to serve nearly 6,000 at-risk youths.  

The Commonwealth Corporation administers the YouthWorks Program under the direction of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to local workforce investment boards. Programs across the state will begin June 1, 2014 and run until September.

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