Here’s some good news for District youth: nearly half of the jobs cut from the city’s summer employment program have now been restored.
City agencies, youth advocates and parents had been bracing for a summer with fewer structured activities for teens — budget cuts meant that the summer jobs program had to be scaled back by 8,000 jobs. But Mayor Vincent Gray announced Monday the city has found additional money and that 4,000 more teens can now get summer jobs, the Washington Post reports. The extra money comes from revised revenue estimates, thanks to an improving economy. The program began Monday:
For the first time, applicants were asked to indicate their interests and employers were allowed to interview and screen applicants.
The first day of work on Monday appeared to run more smoothly than in recent years. Officials said only a few mix-ups were reported — such as participants arriving before their supervisors or requesting to be reassigned — but nothing unexpected.
The Department of Employment Services has a hotline to field calls, but the agency was mostly occupied with finding new placements for all the youths coming off the wait list. A department spokesman said the jobs would be found this week and participants would start July 5.
Last year, 20,000 youth had summer jobs. The program employs District residents ages 14 through 21 to earn minimum wage while working for local government and businesses.