Forum Looks at Youth Related Recovery Funds Bookmark and Share

April 12, 2009

Augusta - In anticipation of approximately $4.2 million for youth employment services, the Maine Department of Labor and the state's four Local Workforce Investment Boards hosted a forum and planning session today at the Augusta Civic Center to develop and implement a Youth Summer Employment Program in Maine.

The Youth Summer Employment Program is targeted to people under the age of 25, and will provide participants with meaningful work experience and the opportunity to learn new skills. Funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In attendance were a number of organizations that currently provide services to teens and young adults. Participants had an opportunity to ask questions about program requirements. Maine First Lady, Karen Baldacci, kicked-off the event. Mrs. Baldacci is chair of the Children's Cabinet and spoke about efforts of the cabinet to improve opportunities for Maine's next generation of workers.

"Maine has a unique opportunity in the months ahead to develop a program to provide good jobs and learning opportunities to young workers," said Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman. "This forum is helping us get started on the right foot and will ensure that the recovery act dollars are used wisely."

A proposal by Governor Baldacci to establish a youth weatherization corps is expected to be funded through the Youth Summer Employment Initiative. The plan will provide up to 100 jobs for young Mainers to help weatherize homes around the state.

More information on the Youth Summer Employment Program will be available at CareerCenters in late April.

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Meeting involved service providers interested in establishing a Summer Youth Employment Program.