A brief moment of sunshine shone amid the gloom of the economic recession in the city.
Last Saturday, New York State Gov. David Paterson and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that $29 million in federal funding would be used to support youth work force development initiatives. The federal money is part of $100 million designated by Gov. Paterson for job creation in New York State. What does this mean in layman’s terms? More summer jobs available for the city’s teen population.
“There’s always going to be that running question, what are they doing during the summer if they’re not doing anything positive? They should be working, of course,” said Felix A. Urrutia, spokesperson for the Police Athletic League in New York City. “There are going to be many more kids that have the opportunity to earn money.” Bloomberg said that the federal stimulus funds would revive 11,000 jobs that would have been cut and add an additional 8,000 jobs in the process. Money would go to assisting participants in Out-of-School Youth programs, helping young people return to high school and helping young people on public assistance establish self-sufficiency. It was welcome news that the mayor didn’t take lightly.
“That’s going to mean more than 51,000 young New Yorkers will experience the rewards of a summer job,” he said. That lesson comes at an important time where young people find it harder to obtain employment when adults are losing jobs.
“Young people, ages 16 to 19, are unemployed by a rate of 22 percent,” Gov.Paterson said on Saturday. The seven-week NYC Summer Youth Employment Program would receive the bulk of youth work force funds ($18.5 million). The program employs young people to work in private sector jobs, hospitals, nonprofits, day camps and play streets. The job will pay $7.25 an hour, with 24 hours being the maximum one can work in a week.