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Summer employment opportunities for low-income young people

MEDIA RELEASE

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona has announced the opportunity for young people from low-income families to earn wages while gaining valuable work experience in public service jobs through the 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program.

Aiona made the announcement while visiting the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Workforce Development Division Office in Hilo.

“Because competition is fierce for any job opening, young people – with their limited work experience – often have the greatest difficulty getting jobs,” Aiona said. “This program provides great opportunities for individuals to get their foot in the door with many public sector jobs.”

These six-week jobs are open to young people, ages 14 through 23, who meet at least one of the following criteria:

* Attending a Title I school designated as having a high percentage of students from low-income families; or
* Receiving free or reduced price lunches; or
* In a household receiving public cash assistance; or
* In a household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp benefits; or
* In a household with a gross annual income at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for Hawaii.

Nearly a thousand jobs are expected to be created statewide as a result of the Summer Youth Employment Program, including about 400 on the Big Island. As of March, the Big Island’s 10.1 percent unemployment rate was the highest of all counties in the state; the State unemployment rate is at 6.9 percent.

DLIR, the State Department of Human Services (DHS) and the City and County of Honolulu are partnering on this project. DHS is financing the program using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal stimulus funds. The summer jobs pay $8 or more per hour and are offered at federal, state and county government offices and at non-profit organizations statewide.

Specifically, a minimum of $3 million in TANF funds will go to the program, with funding for Neighbor Islands totaling $1.8 million. Additional federal funds are available if enrollment in the program is larger than expected.

“The purpose of this project is providing our low-income youth with a chance to learn important working habits, gain valuable working experience and expand their career opportunities,” Aiona said.

Collaboration between DHS and DLIR has been ongoing to help welfare recipients and other low-income individuals enhance their employment prospects through retraining and job search assistance. Both departments partner with numerous community groups, private sector employers and government agencies to address the needs of target groups.

List of Title I Schools:

Hawaii: Hilo High School; Honokaa Intermediate and High School; Ka‘u High School; Keaau High School; Kealakehe High School; Kohala High School; Konawaena High School; Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School; Pahala Elementary; Pahoa Intermediate and High School; and Waiakea High School.

Oahu: Aiea High School; Campbell High School; Castle High School; Farrington High School; Kahuku High School; Kailua High School; Kaimuki High School; Leilehua High School; McKinley High School; Nanakuli Intermediate and High School; Waialua Intermediate and High School; and Waianae High School; Waipahu High School.

Maui: Molokai High School; and Lanai Elementary and High School.

Kauai: Kapaa High School; and Waimea High School.

Charter Schools: Connections PCS; Hakipuu Learning Center PCS; Halau Ku Mana PCS; Hawaii Academy of A & S PCS; Ka Umeke Kaeo PCS; Ka Waihona O Ka Naauao PCS; Kamaile Academy PCS; Kanaka PCS; Kanu O Kaaina PCS; Kanuikapono; Kawaikini PCS; Ke Ana Laahana; Ke Kula O Kamakau Lab PCS; Kona Pacific PCS; Kona Pacific PCS; Kua O Ka La; Kualapuu; Nawahi Iki Lab PCS; Waimea Mid PCCS; and Water of Life PCS.

One Response to “Summer employment opportunities for low-income young people”

  1. lisa chong says:

    I was wondering if this is a similar program to what I had done in the summer of 1995? We took a couple of assessment (accuracy, matching items etc) and placed at different worksites (Kaiser Permanente was mine) and we were paid through the program for 2 months?

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