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D.C. Summer Jobs Get High Interest

Several youths will have the opportunity to participate in D.C. summer jobs this year.

About 24,000 youths 14 to 24-years old in Washington, D.C. have already registered for the city’s 2009 Summer Youth Employment Program, which had an early registration deadline of May 1. This is the highest level of enrollment the city has seen in years, which is good news since the program faced some backlash last year. This year’s program runs from June 18 to August 21.

This year the city also is able to offer a record number of job opportunities. Program participants will have a variety of job options, including working in many District agencies, the private sector, the federal government - including the White House - and the Mayor’s Conservation Corps.

“Given the current economic conditions, we want to ensure that our youth are given optimal advantages to learn and earn this summer,” Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said in a press release. “The businesses that are seeking to hire our youth are excited about this year’s summer program and anxious to be paired with youth workers who are early registrants.”

Joseph Walsh, acting director for the D.C. Department of Employment Services, said the agency’s Office of Youth Programs will continue to assist youth seeking work in the District throughout the year.

“We are excited about this year’s summer program and also committed to providing all the necessary means of support to District youth interested in working - part-time or full-time, in school or out of school,” he said in the press release. “We understand that in this current economic climate the need for extra income is critical for many young people and their families.”

Enhancements to this year’s summer employment program include an online system to allow for an easier applicant and certification process; utilizing an electronic payroll system at work sites that will allow time and attendance to be entered and verified daily and allowing youth to use the summer jobs Web site to learn more information about the program and other workforce development opportunities throughout the summer.