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Youth Summer Jobs Program Comes Up Short

Mayor Greg Fischer’s goal of employing 400 students this summer has not been met, but the Kentuckiana Works summer jobs program has seen growth.Monday is the first day on the job for around 150 students who signed up for the "Summer Works" program this spring, said Michael Gritton, executive director of Kentuckiana Works, the Workforce Investment Board for the Greater Louisville region.Later this month, another group of students will begin work, bringing the total to over 300, he said. But funding is still short from the $1 million goal that pays youth to work at various non-profits and public agencies around the county.Gritton said there’s a significant waiting list."That’s the unfortunate part. Part of why the mayor has been so vigorous in trying to find these opportunities is because there are very large numbers of young people who want to go to work this summer but can’t find a job," he said.Last year 221 young people were employed by 33 employers with half-a-million dollars raised, he said. This year the program has raised around $600,000 and continues looking for funds. Summer jobs in the Louisville regions took a big hit after Six Flags declared bankruptcy in 2010.Some of the larger employers this year include Thorntons, which is hiring 40 employees on its own, said Gritton.

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