Every June, teens fill out employment applications hoping to make some extra money and build work skills. While summer jobs usually abound, this year, given rising unemployment rates, adults are occupying jobs traditionally held by teens.
In fact, according to the Labor Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds hit 21.5% in April, compared with the overall rate of 8.9%. This means instead of spending summer working and making money young people may find themselves hanging out with few opportunities.
One of United Way’s community projects, MatchBridge, is leveraging federal stimulus dollars to build 50 to 75 private-sector internships for San Francisco’s at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24. This is in addition to 100 jobs they already developed in partnership with corporations throughout the region.
The intent of the federal “Summer Youth Employment Program” funding is to provide youth, who have been unable to connect successfully with the workforce, with training and employment opportunities that help them develop work-readiness skills and attitudes.