Funding down for teens seeking summer employment
|By Jane M. Von Bergen, The Philadelphia Inquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
A graduate of
"It was awesome to be in a position to give back to a person who was in my position seven years ago," White said. She stays in touch with her student, who is now in college.
Tough day for a summer jobs news conference Tuesday, with the snow falling hard in a swirling cloud and
But then it's also tough to be a teenager looking for work.
Nationally, 35.5 percent of African American teenagers, aged 16 to 19, who wanted to work were unemployed in December, just about double the 18 percent unemployment rate for white teenagers. Factor in how many became discouraged and quit looking and the numbers become higher.
And it also looks like it'll be a tough year to raise the money to employ 7,600 -- the number of young people who got jobs last year through the program. Several
Last year, however, was a record year for business involvement, with the number of businesses increasing from 1,100 to 1,600. Numbers for this year are still unknown.
At this point, organizers say, there's enough money and commitments to employ 4,000 teens -- the lowest number served since the program began in 2003.
Last year, at this time, there was enough money for 5,000, with Mayor Nutter making many personal appeals to bring the number up to 7,600. Still, 18,000 applied for the program, meaning that 10,400 didn't get jobs.
The students work at area businesses, government offices, and nonprofits that pay the Philadelphia Youth Network, which serves as the official employer.
In prepared remarks, he noted that employees who work with the young people benefit by gaining supervisory experience and often find themselves experiencing renewed enthusiasm for their own work.
About 55 employers have signed up this year. They include the
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