Stimulus helps fund youth jobs

More than 1,000 low-income youngsters in Pierce County will be put to work this summer thanks to federal stimulus money.

More than 1,000 low-income youngsters in Pierce County will be put to work this summer thanks to federal stimulus money.

Workforce Central, a joint workforce development enterprise between Pierce County and the City of Tacoma, is poised to invest $2.1 million in youth and young adults through a countywide summer employment training program.

Funding for the 2009 Youth Employment Program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress and President Obama approved to stimulate the economy.

Workforce Central and its youth partners will assist 1,000 to 1,200 low-income people between the ages of 14 and 24.

Youth who meet income eligibility requirements and are selected for the program will gain work readiness, career exposure and skills in a variety of jobs in public, private and nonprofit sectors.

The program covers the cost of their $8.55-an-hour wage and related costs for six to eight weeks.

“Given the state of the economy, opportunities for youth and young adults have declined, and that makes it even tougher for people from low-income families who already face tough socio-economic barriers,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, one of five members of Workforce Central’s executive board. “I am urging my department directors to look for opportunities to participate in this program and hire these folks.”

Applications can be downloaded at www.worksourcepierce.com/wdc or obtained by calling 253-591-5450. Selected youth will be contacted in May and June and invited to attend an orientation before beginning their paid work experience in July.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Employment and Training Consortium, doing business as Workforce Central, was formed in 1982 to be the county’s workforce development entity.

The organization coordinates federal, state and local resources to ensure the development of a sufficient supply of skilled workers that meet the community’s needs.


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