Monday, March 15, 2010

Slamming A Door on Summer Youth Employment?

All of us who work with and for youth know that one thing just about every young person wants is a summer job. But last week, our elected officials made obtaining one in 2010 even harder. Despite a strong push from the workforce development field, an amendment to provide $1.3 billion for summer youth employment offered by Senators Murray and Kerry was defeated.
I just don't understand: we want young people to graduate from high school and move on to higher education but we cut funds for education. We want young people to learn work skills so they can succeed in the world of work but we don't appropriate funds to make more jobs available to them.
Investing in the vehicles--education and work---that will help young people develop knowledge and skills that they can use for a lifetime seem to me to be cost-effective strategies. Yet our elected officials seem to be pursuing another agenda that I can't seem to figure out.


  1. John - thanks for this informative post. I hadn't heard about this amendment. What bill was it attached to? It would be great if local media would cover this critical youth development and economic issue!

    Even without government support, it would be great to get employers behind a youth summer employment effort.

  2. Kirsten:
    Currently it is dead in the water. workforce folks in DC are huddling to determine next steps. I will let you know if I hear anything

  3. Hi - we have four teen age children - two in college and two in high school. All have received high honors academically as well as character awards. None have been able to find summer work at this time. It's frustrating when they have worked so hard to prepare for college - but now are struggling to afford it. Any resources available to our youth would be appreciated. Thank you -