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Mayor’s Office takes advantage of Summer Youth Employment Program

Shauntell Matsumoto, Dillyn Tokuyama, Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau and Katrina Spinola. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

Shauntell Matsumoto, Dillyn Tokuyama, Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau and Katrina Spinola. (Hawaii 24/7 photo courtesy of Margaret Masunaga)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor with reporting by Margaret Masunaga

The West Hawaii Mayor’s Office is welcoming three summer interns in Kailua-Kona and putting them to work, thanks to federal stimulus funding. Local non-profit organizations still have the chance to scoop up one of our island’s motivated young workers for the summer, as the state has been awarded more than $3 million throughout he Summer Youth Employment Program.

* Shauntell Matsumoto, who attends Kealakehe High School, is working in the Mayor’s Office in Kona.

* Dillyn Tokuyama, who attends Hawaii Community College and is a 2009 graduate of Konawaena High School, is working at the Planning Department in Kona.

* Katrina Spinola, who attends University of Hawaii at Hilo and is a 2008 graduate of Kealakehe High School, also is working at the Planning Department in Kona.

For the first day of work at the Planning Department, Dillyn and Katrina met with Deputy Planning Director Margaret Masunaga, and she familiarized them with the county operations in Kona. They also met with Councilman Kelly Greenwell, Councilwoman Brenda Ford and Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau.

They also have attended a Land Use Commission hearing at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd gave Dillyn and Katrina a brief overview of the General Plan, Kona Community Development Plan, and how the state LUC is considering a reclassification of land in North Kona regarding the Ooma project.

In addition, Dillyn and Katrina will have the opportunity to attend a Leeward Planning Commission meeting.

The Summer Youth Employment Program is administered by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Workforce Development office. The Big Island has a surplus of youngsters ages 14 to 23 who want to work and are just waiting for non-profit organizations to step up and call on them.

The DLIR Workforce Development Division is the employer of record and is responsible for payment of wages to the young workers. DLIR will also provide any necessary equipment required for the jobs.

Financing for the program is through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal stimulus funds. 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.

Applications for job seekers and for government agencies and non-profit organizations that want to serve as worksites can be downloaded at hawaii.gov/labor/wdd/summer-yo…

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