WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration applauded the inclusion of federal funding for summer youth employment activities across the country and encouraged the Senate to pass the legislation. “As we continue the work of rebuilding our economy and encouraging job creation, investing in summer youth employment is an important way to teach our young people the value of hard work and prepare them for careers in the future,” President Obama said. President Obama and Members of the Congressional Black Caucus recently discussed the importance of supporting a program that would provide young people with work experience, job skills and supplement their family’s incomes during the summer months. Last summer, the Recovery Act’s summer jobs program succeeded in creating summer jobs for youth across the nation, addressing a high youth unemployment rate. An additional $600 million, passed by the House this week, would allow local areas to continue this successful program and create 200,000 jobs this summer. In 2009, more than 300,000 jobs were created through the program through investments from the Recovery Act. More than 40 percent of the summer youth program participants were African- American and nearly onequarter were Latino. An evaluation of last summer’s program conducted by an independent policy research firm concluded that youth valued both the employment opportunities and gaining exposure in high-growth employment areas such as health care and green industries, among others. The evaluation also found that nearly all participating employers expressed a desire to participate in future programs.
The bill is now being considered in the Senate, where the leadership is working diligently to secure resources for the program. Individuals interested in participating in a summer job program in their community should visit their local employment office or contact the Department of Labor for more information at www.dol.gov.