Allegheny County doubles summer jobs program

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Teenagers and young adults from poorer families in Allegheny County can apply now for summer jobs to be paid with federal stimulus money.

The county expects to almost double the number of temporary positions it can fund this year.

The county is in line to get as much as $5.2 million in stimulus money, enough to pay wages for as many as 1,100 job-seekers from poorer families.

"Summer job programs prepare youth and young adults for success in the work force and foster solid and safe communities," County Executive Dan Onorato said in a statement today. "It's a win-win situation for young people and Allegheny County as a whole."

The money is being allocated under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.

Last year, the county placed 566 people ages 14 through 24 in jobs offering training and experience in fields ranging from child-care to gardening.

The county will work with 18 non-profit agencies in identifying and recruiting candidates. Successful applicants will be assigned to a variety of work sites, including hospitals, summer camps, community gardens and environmentally friendly "green" projects, according to Jonathan Walkush. He is manager of planning and operations for the bureau of employment training in the county's Department of Human Services.

The young people will work on projects lasting four weeks to 10 weeks. Workers ages 14 to 17 will earn minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, for 25 to 30 hours per week. Those ages 18 to 24 will be paid $10 per hour for up to 40 hours per week.

The program is open to applicants from families living in Allegheny County who meet one of several different income guidelines. They include being from a family receiving food stamps, living in a foster home or having family income less than 235 percent of federal poverty guidelines. That number is equal to $51,815 for a family of four.

Applicants must be from outside the City of Pittsburgh, which has a separate, similar effort.

More information about the summer employment program is available on the Forest Hills CareerLink Hotline at 412-436-2237 or on the Department of Human Services website at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/wiayouth.aspx.


Len Barcousky: lbarcousky@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1159.


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