Mayor Chris Beutler today said the SummerWorks Program, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has so far provided jobs for 177 young people in the Lincoln area. The City received $408,803 for the program, which is employing low-income youth ages 14 to 24 at 81 sites in Lincoln as well as Lancaster and Saunders counties. (A list follows this release.)
This federal stimulus program is having a direct impact on these young people who are working and earning wages, some for the first time," Mayor Beutler said. "The positive effects of SummerWorks will continue for these young workers who now have job experience and a better understanding of workplace expectations. We also appreciate the extra help at a time when budgets for City agencies and other non-profits are tight.
Participants earn $7.25 an hour working at public and private non-profit organizations. The program began in May and was scheduled to run through September, but Dan Cain, Manager of Workforce Investment for the City Urban Development Department, said it will likely be extended.
City job sites included the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights (LCHR), Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Lincoln City Libraries, One Stop Employment Solutions (Urban Development Department), Parks and Recreation and Public Works and Utilities.
SummerWorks participant Keri Anderson said her experience at LCHR is helping her improve her phone, computer and presentation skills while helping people and helping end discrimination. "Working at the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights has been a wonderful and testing experience. This opportunity opened my eyes and improved my ability to be a better, harder worker," she said.
Cain said SummerWorks is helping to address a national problem - the 70 percent jobless rate for 16- to 24-year olds not attending school. Some of the young people employed by SummerWorks also participated in a "Strengths Quest" workshop. After the participants took the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Gallup gave a presentation on the Strengths Theory and facilitated activities that helped participants understand their particular strengths and how to apply those strengths to their career planning.SummerWorks Site List138KB