For Immediate Release Contact: Pat Senette-Holt, PIO
October 8, 2009 (213) 738-2065
L.A. COUNTY WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD FORECAST
ARRA SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM WILL BE A SUCCESS
A recent progress reports indicates the program will meet its target
Los Angeles, Calif.— Despite the climate of pessimism regarding successful outcomes of the stimulus-funded summer youth programs and the high unemployment rates, a progress report released October 1, 2009 by Community and Senior Services (CSS), the administrator of the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board’s (WIB) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), reveals that six months into the program the SYEP is on target toward meeting its goals.
Dr. Dennis Neder, Chair of the Los Angeles County WIB, commented: “By every measure, the County’s SYEP has been a huge success. One hundred percent of the youth enrolled in the program have received invaluable work experience and readiness skills while seeding much-needed capital into the local area. This program goes far beyond our regular yearly WIA youth program, giving the community a solid boost at a substantial value. I’m confident that this program will surpass the challenges given to us by Congress.”
The preliminary review of results of the program (from May 1st through October 1st, 2009) show that 100% of the 5,600 enrollees have gained critical work experience and job skills.
“Without the absolute commitment of the County WIB’s contract providers, this would not have been possible. The partnerships with the local business community, fostered by these dedicated organizations, proved to be the successful key element,” Neder noted.
AARA SYEP stimulus funds were awarded to the L.A. County WIB for a period of 11 months to provide youth with paid work experience. “CSS and the WIB accepted the challenge of placing eligible, low-income youth in the SYEP within this time-frame largely because of our existing network of experienced WIA youth providers whom we felt confident could weather the economic storm and find businesses willing to participate in a program that offered paid work experience,” said Josie Marquez, Executive Director, L.A. County WIB.
“The downward trend in the job market did not prevent us from reaching our goal of providing an opportunity for our youth to receive valuable work experience. I am pleased with the progress we are making in reaching so many young people who may not have had an opportunity to work during the summer, but what is even more gratifying is the fact that we are making a difference in these young people’s lives—evidenced by the letters I have received and the favorable testimonials. This experience, which included job training and job readiness, has also instilled a work-ethic that will remain with them regardless of the career path they select in adulthood,” remarked Cynthia Banks, Director of Community and Senior Services.
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