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Governor, Mayors Announce Summer Youth Employment Program

Providence, RI – Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Mayor Angel Taveras and Mayor Allan Fung joined Director of Human Services Sandra M. Powell and Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty at the State House today to announce $2 million in state and federal funding that will provide summer employment to more than 1,300 Rhode Island youth ages 14-24.

The Governor's Workforce Board is providing $1 million from the state Job Development Fund, and the RI Department of Human Services is providing an additional $1 million in federal funding from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. While families must meet federal income guidelines to qualify for the 600 TANF-funded youth employment opportunities, no such income limitations are required for the 750 state-funded opportunities.

Governor Chafee stressed the importance of work experience for youth, stating, "This provides not only an economic boost for many of the participants' families, but it also teaches young people marketable skills that will help them in their future careers. It is particularly gratifying that we are able to make federal and state dollars work together to create employment opportunities for young Rhode Islanders."

The Governor noted that opportunities for summer and year-round employment for teenagers are particularly hard to find. According to the RI Department of Labor and Training, while the average annual unemployment rate for the entire Rhode Island workforce in 2011 was 11.3 percent, the average for Rhode Island youth ages 16-19 was 29.0 percent.

"Any time we are able to stand together and offer the youth of this city and state a chance at summer employment, it is a great day," said Mayor Angel Taveras. "We are pleased to be partners in both the Governor's Workforce Board initiative and the RI Department of Human Services' TANF summer jobs program. These young people will learn the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and in life."

Beginning in July, community-based organizations throughout the state will offer a combination of work experience and work readiness training in areas as diverse as green construction, hospitality and aquaculture. All participants will also be required to complete a workplace certification such as occupational safety or customer service training; certifications vary from program to program. Most programs are slated to run for 20 hours each week for six weeks, during which time youth will earn minimum wage ($7.40/hour). The programs are overseen by the two local workforce investment boards: the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island and Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston.

Director of Human Services Sandra M. Powell also affirmed the value of partnering with the Governor's Workforce Board and the Department of Labor and Training, adding, "This opportunity extends the core mission of TANF, which is to support families in improving their lives by establishing themselves in the workforce. The young people who participate in the program will benefit not only this summer but for many years to come."

Director of Labor and Training Charles J. Fogarty explained that the department's YouthWORKS411 system—a network of 15 career exploration and work readiness centers around the state—will play a key role in recruitment and placement for the summer employment program. He advised youth interested in the summer employment program to contact either their local YouthWORKS411 center or participating community-based organizations. He cautioned that many of the available employment opportunities are expected to be filled by existing clientele of the youth centers and community-based organizations. For information and directions to local youth centers, visit the Department of Labor and Training web site at www.dlt.ri.gov/youthworks411.

Below is a listing of summer youth employment programs funded through this combined initiative.

AS220 Youth

Service area: Providence and Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-21

Work experience in arts-related disciplines such as graphic design, community murals and video game design

Blackstone Valley Community Action Program

Service area: Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln and Pawtucket

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience at the McColl Field YMCA

Boys and Girls Clubs consortium, led by the Boys and Girls Club of Newport

Service area: Cumberland/Lincoln, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket, Warwick and Woonsocket

Age eligibility: 14-24

Employment as camp counselors or in the hospitality and health care industries

Comprehensive Community Action

Service area: Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience through the public school system, the City of Cranston and private employers

East Bay Community Action Program

Service area: Newport County and East Bay

Age eligibility: 14-19

Employment in such EBCAP programs as senior services and Head Start; also employment through other area organizations

Family Resource Community Action Program

Service area: Woonsocket

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience in health care, manufacturing, bioscience, communications, entrepreneurship and agriculture

Living History

Service area: Providence and Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-18

Work experience in historic interpretation of the Civil War reenactments, set at Roger Williams Park

Metropolitan Regional Career & Technical School

Service area: All Rhode Island, with focus on Providence, Cranston, Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich areas

Age eligibility: 14-21

Work experience in construction and green industries, computer, hospitality, engineering and manufacturing

New England Laborers'/Cranston Public School Construction Career Academy

Service area: Providence and Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-19

Work experience in health care, construction and hospitality and tourism

Rhode Island Hospital

Service area: Providence and Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work assignments at RI Hospital, Miriam Hospital and Lifespan Corporate Services

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association in conjunction with Save the Bay and International Yacht Restoration School

Service area: Bristol, Newport and West Warwick areas

Age eligibility: 16-24

Work experience in ocean sustainability and boat building

Rhode Island Parent Information Network and the RI Department of Health/Office of Special Needs

Service area: Providence and Cranston

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience and education as youth health coaches

SER Jobs for Progress

Service area: Pawtucket and Central Falls

Age eligibility: 14-15

Internships at local businesses

Seven Hills Rhode Island (formerly Homestead Group)

Service area: Greater Rhode Island

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience and vocation exploration for youth with diagnosed disabilities

Tri-Town Community Action Agency

Service area: North Providence and South County

Age eligibility: 14-19

Employment through local businesses

Tri-Town Community Action Agency

Service area: Providence

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work readiness and work experience program for Ocean Tides School clientele currently in foster care system

Woodlawn Community Development

Service area: Pawtucket

Age eligibility: 14-24

Work experience in aqua-ponic food production, community gardening and landscaping

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Governor

Online: http://www.governor.ri.gov

Release date: 06-01-2012

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