I talked about this today at an event with Vice President Joe Biden.
For the last eight years, the City has struggled to find funding for summer jobs for our teens. This was difficult, because traditional Workforce Investment Act funding did not make running summer jobs programs easy.
But — if you are a regular reader, you know we made it work, thanks in part to Congressman Lacy Clay. Lacy and I both strongly believe that summer jobs programs are a very important tool in readying our youth for productive and satisfying lives as adults.
This year, it will be a little easier — and bigger.
SLATE will use $3 million of federal stimulus money for summer jobs that will employ up to 1,600 teens in established and emerging industries in the areas of green products/services, life sciences/biotech research, energy, and healthcare that offer strong long-term career potential for our youth and strong potential for our community’s economic growth. I will be making the calls to recruit the businesses; SLATE and its community partners will be recruiting the youth.
Summer jobs introduce young people to world of work — and they teach lessons that last a lifetime. This is a stimulus the benefits of which will remain in St. Louis long after the money is spent.