Dwindling Number of Positions For Youth Mulling City's Jobs Program

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For teens and young adults beginning to mull their summer job options, those interested in employment with the city will face stricter competition than last year.

There are 12,000 fewer positions than last year — and 29,000 fewer than in 2009 — for the city's 14- to 24-year olds hoping to land government-funded jobs through the city's Summer Youth Employment Program. There will be an estimated 23,000 positions available to work in parks, summer camps, hospitals or non-profits this year, officials said.

Andrew Doba, with the Department of Youth and Community Development, said more than a quarter of city's youth is unemployed, compared to just more than 8 percent for adults.

"There aren't as many jobs available for young people," he said, "and so this really is an outlet for them to get experience into the world of work into a job that may not have necessarily jumped out at them in the first place."

Last year, 143,000 young people applied for a little more than 35,000 slots.

The program is receiving about the same amount of funding from the city and state as in 2010 but the agency has run out of federal stimulus funding and has yet to confirm any private donations.

"There's obviously a need for kids who want to work, who need the experience and it’s not just a problem that will end when this summer ends," he said. "It's an experience that may affect them years down the road."

The city will start accepting applications on it’s website by the end of the month. The drawing for the entry level jobs is scheduled for the end of May.