Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Summer Jobs for Youths Scarce

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Summer Jobs for Youths Scarce

Article excerpt

Federally subsidized jobs for area low-income youths are more scarce this summer because of a lack of funds.

"The job market is slim in the city of St. Louis," said Valerie Russell, executive director of the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment. "It's slim not for just the youths but for adults as well."

The county still has some job opportunities for youths.

St. Louis received more federal dollars this year than it did last year, but not enough to meet the demand.

Russell said about 5,000 city youths have applied for 1,201 summer jobs available through the program, which is down from 1,300 jobs last year.

"It's too late for kids to apply" because the city jobs are all gone, said Russell.

The St. Louis Public Schools had created 200 jobs for students who have good grades, said Russell. Those jobs are gone, too.

This year, the government has required more than just a job program, said Russell. All states must provide "work experience and educational enhancement" for those receiving jobs paid for with federal dollars.

That extra expense means that more money provided fewer jobs. The city received $2.8 million for this summer's program. It got $2.3 million for the program in 1993.

The funds must come out of the jobs program funds, and the federal government did not allocate enough money to meet the jobs demand, Russell added.

Russell had this advice for city youths. "Look beyond larger employers and look into smaller, neighborhood employers even if it's part time, because there seems to be an effort to get kids employed," she said.

Jamal Johnson, 17, a Sumner High School dropout, said the job he got has encouraged him to return to school in the fall. "This job is going to help out the family, keep me off the streets and help me back in school," he said.

The students who were able to get jobs will be making minimum wage of $4. …

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