Stimulus Creates Summer Jobs for Youth

About 14-million dollars of stimulus money will create summer jobs for youth in the Texas Gulf Coast area. The jobs will be spread around the region among different employers. More than 600 positions will be created in the City of Houston. Laurie Johnson reports.

There's been a lot of talk about how difficult it's going to be for teens and college students to find summer jobs in the leaner, meaner economy. After all, youth workers are often unskilled and inexperienced and will be competing for fewer positions.

But the Workforce Investment Act sets aside $14 million for youth jobs in the Houston area. City of Houston Education Director Linda Clarke told councilmembers the city will be able to hire more than 600 young people using the stimulus money.

"These young people will have the opportunity, they'll be earning about $2,300, they're going to be working about 30-35 hours a week on average for about 8-10 weeks."

Houston Mayor Bill White says the jobs could also be a good dose of reality for kids who have never been in the workplace.

"I mean one thing that I learned from mowing lawns, because that's the only job I could get, was I didn't want to mow lawns for a living. There are a lot of jobs that may not be glamorous, but a lot of us learned to work and learned to get motivated and learned the structure of a workplace by what some people call entry-level jobs."

There are certain eligibility requirements for the program. The regional jobs are only open to people between 14 and 24 years old whose families are under certain income levels.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...