Last year's economic stimulus package included $2.1 billion for summer youth jobs. These funds provided summer jobs and, in some cases, jobs outside summer months for more than 359,000 youth. Participants gained income that they and their families badly needed and valuable work experience that will help them in the future.
Most, if not all, of the stimulus funds have been spent. State and local governments don't have the funds to sustain summer youth employment programs at anything like last year's level. The youth unemployment rate is extraordinarily high and likely to remain so unless Congress acts.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are working on a final version of a bill to extend a package of tax benefits. They could — and should — include funding to help support robust summer youth employment programs.
So let's urge our elected representatives in Congress to fund summer jobs for youth now.
Photo credit: Jan Tik
As a constituent, I urge you to support immediate emergency funding for summer youth employment programs.
These programs help young people earn needed income and gain valuable work experience that gives them a stepping stone to productive work in the future. The programs have also proved valuable in encouraging youth to stay in school. They are especially important in low-income communities that have been hit hard by the recession.
Last year's economic stimulus package helped local programs place more than 359,000 youth in private and public sector jobs. But most, if not all, of these funds have been spent. As you know, state and local governments are cutting core services to help balance their budgets. They won't have the revenues to support meaningful summer youth employment programs without help.
I understand that the House and Senate are resolving differences between their tax benefit extender bills and that they are likely to include some other urgently-needed measures. Please do all you can to make generous funding for summer youth employment programs one of them.
Thank you for considering the future of America's youth.
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