Hope for teen employment

Not only has the recession spelled trouble for many unemployed adults, but teens with the hopes of landing summer jobs have been hit hard as well.

King County youth employment has decreased by a total of 24 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the Workforce Development Council of Seattle, King County.

Friday morning at King County YouthSource in Renton, Bank of America announced it is providing a $50,000 grant to the Workforce Development Council that will fund 16 internships through the City of Seattle's Summer Youth Employment Program.

Bank of America and Expeditors International are trying to give teens a boost.

The grant is part of Bank of America's Summer Youth Employment Initiative that leverages public and private funding to place at-risk teens in summer jobs with nonprofits and local businesses.

Expeditors International's "Opportunity Knocks" program hires high school students part time and teaches basic job skills.

The program is designed to guide youth to continued employment with the company or other employers and even to higher education.

In King County Workforce Development Council reports that the number of 14-to-18-year-olds who were employed went down by 48 percent between 2008 and 2011.

The number of 19-to-21-year-olds also went down by 23 percent and their average earnings decreased by $200 a month.

The average monthly earnings of 22-to-24-year-olds decreased by $282 and their employment went down by 15 percent.

“Our Summer Youth Employment Initiative helps meet a critical need in Seattle and strengthens the local communities we serve,” said Bob Peters, Washington State President and Regional Market Executive at Bank of America.

“This grant will help provide learning opportunities and work experiences for at-risk teens that can set them on a course to pursue long-term education and career goals.

”The King County YouthSource in Renton provides that connection between employers and youth looking for their first jobs.YouthSource is located at 500 Southwest Seventh Street, Suite 100 in the Renton WorkSource.

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