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County Uses Stimulus Funds to Create Summer Jobs for Youth

Black Voice News.com, News Report, Posted: May 06, 2009

More than 1,500 young people in San Bernardino County will be placed in jobs and have the opportunity for on-the-job training after the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today accepted $15.8 million in federal stimulus money designated for workforce training.

With unemployment at its highest level in decades, these expanded programs will help us lay the foundation for a sustained recovery by getting young people started in the workforce, said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, whose High Desert district has been especially hard hit by the economic downturn. This will help our local businesses by providing workers and reducing their costs, and will stimulate the local economy by putting money in the pockets of these young workers. The Board of Supervisors approved $5,797,251 in contracts to provide a Summer Youth Employment Program, which is being administered by the Countys Workforce Investment Board. The program will pay the salaries of eligible youths, ages 14-24, during the upcoming summer. Youths will be placed with employers that are participating in the program. The remainder of the $15.8 million will be used to provide services and training to adults and laid-off workers. Among the agencies receiving funding are Apple Valley Unified School District, which will receive $444,594 to place140 youths at job sites. Hesperia Unified School District will receive $346,334 for 100, Lucerne Valley Career Academy will receive $258,800 for 50, and Mental Health Systems Inc. in Needles will get $123,066 for 25 youths. Each agency already has a waiting list of eligible young people.

The stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is targeted at adults, laid-off workers and youths to prepare them for the job market. The funding was awarded by formula based on unemployment rates and need.

Trainees will receive instruction in industries that have a demand for skilled workers, including health care, aviation, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and green industries. Workers also will receive training in general skills that are required for a wide variety of jobs. Aside from spurring the local economy and helping young people develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives, it means they will be spending their summer hours in positive and constructive activities, said Supervisor Mitzelfelt.

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