Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
SUBJECT: Mayor: More summer jobs aimed at reducing youth violence
6/24/2009 2:00:00 PM
Mayor: More summer jobs aimed at reducing youth violence
Nickels kicks off summer youth jobs program
SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels announced today that funds from the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative will help the city put 650 young people to work this summer, engaging them in positive and productive jobs.
“One of the best ways to reduce youth violence is to show our young people new opportunities and a bright future. The city’s summer jobs program will give hundreds of young people new skills and help put them on the right path,” said Nickels.
In addition to $402,000 from the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, the Seattle Youth Employment Program is receiving $1.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the federal stimulus. As a result, this summer’s employment program will significantly increase the number of participating youth, from 492 last summer to 650 this year.
The jobs begin on Monday, July 6, and last for seven weeks. Youth interns receive minimum wage ($8.55/hr). Youth in group projects receive academic credit and a stipend of $900.
Nickels proposed the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to dramatically change how the city deals with youth violence. The initiative is focused on identifying and helping about 800 children a year who are at highest risk of perpetuating violence or becoming victims. The City Council’s adopted 2009-2010 budget provides $8 million for the initiative.
With the new funding from the initiative, the city’s summer jobs program, for youth between the ages of 14 and 17, will provide work readiness and job training skills that enable the youth to develop positive career goals and paths. Eligible young people include court-involved youth (repeat offenders or youth arrested but not detained); middle school youth with truancy and suspensions; and youth affected by violence.
Federal stimulus money will serve youth between the ages of 16 and 24, who are low income and face barriers, such as disabilities and homelessness. Work experiences will expose youth to careers in high-growth sectors, such as health care, skilled trades, green jobs and technology. For those 18 and older, the jobs will be focused on career-building.
The kickoff for the summer jobs program was held at the Environmental Outreach and Stewardship (EOS) Alliance in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. This summer, the EOS Alliance will employ 20 young people in various positions, including habitat restoration workers, home energy auditor trainees and office interns.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with the city of Seattle using the recovery funding,” said Marléna Sessions, CEO of the Workforce Development Council (WDC) of Seattle-King County. “This summer’s program is the beginning of a sustainable, community-driven summer youth employment program that will continue to grow and benefit youth and employers alike.”
The city of Seattle has operated the Seattle Youth Employment Program for more than 25 years. It is a year-round academic support and job-training program that helps participants graduate from high school, move on to college or vocational programs, and develop skills needed for apprenticeships or jobs in high-demand fields, such as health care and technology.
Workforce Development Council
The WDC of Seattle-King County is a nonprofit work force “think tank” and grant-making organization that oversees employment-related programs for youth, the adult work force and employers in King County, with the goal of a strong economy and self-sufficiency for every resident. ARRA money designated for the Workforce Investment Act comes from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to the State, then to 12 WDCs in the state. For more information: www.seakingwdc.org.
Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance
EOS Alliance was founded in 2000 as the Northwest Environmental Education Council. EOS provides green jobs and work force development, home energy audits and weatherization, efficiency retrofits for buildings, habitat restoration, civic leadership training, youth environmental education, and technical environmental training. For more information: www.eosalliance.org.
For more information about the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative: http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/issues/youthInitiative
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