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Home News-Telegram News No takers yet for summer program that pays youths to work for non-profit organizations, churches

No takers yet for summer program that pays youths to work for non-profit organizations, churches

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You’d think non-profit organizations and churches in Hopkins County would jump at the opportunity to get some free help this summer, but so far, none have.

Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas is seeking worksites in Hopkins County for area youths participating in the Summer Youth Program funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But Workforce Solutions Executive Director Kay O’Dell said no local organizations have yet applied.

“We have youths ages 14 through 24 that are ready and willing to work in the area, but we have not received any worksite applications for Hopkins County,” said Kay O’Dell, executive director for Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas. “Unfortunately, we are turning Hopkins County youths away from participating in the Summer Youth Program because we have no place for them to work.”

Workforce Solutions released a “Request for Applications” for worksites across Northeast Texas in March. Organizations such as county and city governments, non-profit organizations (including churches), hospitals and public education institutions are considered ideal worksite locations.

Workforce Solutions will pay the wages for the youths up to $7.25 per hour, in addition to paying for their training and supervision. Workforce Center staff will determine eligibility and be responsible for any documentation.

Selected worksites complete a worksite agreement with Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, but there’s not a lot of paperwork beyond that, according to Casey Sanders, project manager for the Summer Youth Program.

“They will also be responsible for completing the time sheet for each participating youth working at the worksite,” stated Sanders. “Workforce Solutions staff will be responsible for picking up the time sheets each week and delivering them to the temporary staffing agency that is processing payroll. Workforce center staff will also deliver the paychecks to the worksites on a weekly basis.”

The organizations must also show proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance as a part of their applications.

Examples of work projects include “green work” such as retrofitting public buildings, recycling of computers, community beautification projects, office assistance, and positions in public health care facilities and public libraries. The employment opportunities should include a high quality, meaningful and productive work experience that promotes responsibility, teamwork and good work ethics.

“We would like to encourage local community-based organizations to participate in this program for Hopkins County,” said Hopkins County Judge Cletis Millsap, who serves as the lead chief elected official for Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas.

“This is a great opportunity for organizations to have extra help for the summer at little to no cost to them while providing these youths with valuable work experience,” said O’Dell. “And for the youths, it is putting extra cash in their pockets, money they can spend in the community. So this is truly a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Funding for the program is being provided through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. The program will run from June 15 to Aug. 21. Workforce Solutions will match eligible youths to available job sites, as well as handle the payroll for those employed.

Eligible participants are individuals between the ages 14 though 24 who meet Workforce Investment Act income eligibility requirements.

The income guidelines vary depending on family size. For example, for a family of one, the income limit is $10,400; for two, it’s $14,000; for three, $17,600; four is $21,550; five is $25,430. After that, the income level rises about $4,300 for each additional person. Not all money that comes to the family is necessarily considered income, however; Workforce Solutions representatives can provide more details.

Organizations interested in applying to become a worksite in the program must submit an application that may be downloaded online at www.netxworkforce.org. Questions regarding the program may be directed to Casey Sanders, project manager, by calling (903) 794-9490 ext. 109 or emailing:

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