Getting and holding on to a good job requires a set of habits, skills, and expectations. Learning what those are is challenge for many people. Not learning them early starts young workers off on the wrong foot. That is why I am strong advocate of providing paid summer jobs to inner city youth. It puts a little money in their pockets. More importantly, it gives them an idea what it takes to have a job and do well at it. The training is valuable to them; their subsequent productive careers are valuable to our City.
This summer, our programs will place 200 low-income high school kids in summer jobs. These kids are enrolled in our year-round job training program. In addition, we have urged the State of Missouri to seek available federal money for summer jobs for 18 to 24 year olds. If the state gets the money, we could put more than 400 young people to work this summer.
But, 200 or 400 jobs, the need is far greater. The U.S. House has passed a bill that includes $1 billion to provide summer jobs for 14-24 year olds. The Senate is expected to debate the bill shortly. This is Congress' last chance to create jobs this summer for our future workforce. I hope the Senate takes it. This isn't a giveaway or a bailout. This is an investment that will produce an economic return, with the additional benefit of rewarding and encouraging a work ethic.