Governor Douglas Announces Summer Youth Employment Grants

May 11, 2009

Opportunities for Vermont’s youth to earn money and gain valuable skills and experience.
Burlington, Vt. – At the Recycle North Building Materials Center today, Governor Jim Douglas today announced one that the Vermont Department of Labor has received $2.9 million dollars in ARRA funds to provide skill training, work experience and summer employment to eligible youth 14-24 years old.  These funds are part of the Workforce Investment Act that the Department administers. 
The Department of Labor announced more than 15 grants to schools, businesses and non profits around the state who will be working with Vermont’s young people to help them learn much needed skills.  Funds are targeted to providing opportunities for at risk youth, out of school youth and low income youth.  In too many cases, these youth represent the “drifters” referred to by the Next Generation Commission report.  These grants and other programs in the works will enable hundreds of Vermont youth to learn valuable skills and work experiences that will help launch them on a career pathway.
“If we want our state to succeed in the 21st century economy, we have to take every opportunity to build a skilled and well educated workforce,” said Governor Douglas.  “These grants will provide our next generation with the training and experience they need to compete.  And they will earn money while they learn, helping them see the direct benefits of hard work.”
While the Department has had a small summer youth program over the last several years, the ARRA funds represent a one time 19 fold increase in the funding available in this summer youth program  This will help stimulate the Vermont economy and provide much needed skills training.  Some of these grants will be used to train young adults in weatherization skills which are needed to implement other ARRA programs for weatherization for low income Vermonters.  Weatherization Technician is also an excellent start to a career in construction as well as an opportunity to start a business.
According to ReCycle North’s Executive Director Tom Longstreth, “These funds are critical to our ability to create more opportunities for disadvantaged youth who have dropped out of school and enable them to gain the skills needed by employers.”
ReCycle North will use ARRA funds to expand its YouthBuild program in Barre and Burlington that provides construction and weatherization training, enables youth to complete their high school education, develop leadership skills, and become gainfully employed.
“This is a great example of how the wise investment of ARRA funds can help us grow our economy,” Douglas added.  “We are preparing the next generation of Vermonters with the tools they need to succeed.”
The following are among the programs that will be receiving ARRA/SYEP funds:
Weatherization Camps, Vermont Technical College, Randolph.  Participants ages 18-24 will be recruited to learn weatherization job skills during two, two week residential camps. Hands on training in weather stripping, insulation, ventilation, glazing and caulking, and air sealing will be offered in two sessions. Upon completion, participants will receive employer recognized certifications.
COVER Home Repair, Hartford will recruit up to 20 eligible youth from the Upper Valley Region to be a part of the COVER Youth Corps which will complete 12 weatherization projects and 4 wheelchair ramps. Participants will spend 20 hours a week on job sites and 4 in the classroom working on job readiness skills. $52,985.00
Families First, Wilmington.  12 young people will work at the Guilford Church program responding to community needs: stacking wood, gardening, and yard work for the elderly. Another 12 with developmental disabilities will work on business development plans for a recycling business and a reading program for daycare centers and libraries. Projects will also include classroom time working on job readiness and recreational activities.  6 youth will be hired to assist at the Boys and Girls Club’s summer camps. $112,054.00
Media Technology Institute, Lyndon Center, will use ARRA funds to support the Broadcast Journalism Camp  for high technology skill development of 12 young adults between the ages of 16-24 with the final outcome of full-time employment in technology based positions with Northeast Sports Network, Inc. $60,213.00
Montpelier Parks: Historic Preservation Training Program, Montpelier, will host a work crew of 10 older youth (18-24) to restore the Hubbard Park Observation Tower in Montpelier.  They will learn specialized trades related to historic preservation, including erecting scaffolding, power-washing, cleaning, and re-pointing mortar, in addition to general work readiness skills. $45,648.00
Northeast Kingdom Community Action, Inc. will place younger out-of-school youth, at risk youth, and older out-of-school youth at a variety of employers in the Northeast Kingdom.  All will complete formal and informal assessments which will result in an Individual Service Strategy.  Participants will develop a portfolio to use in future job searches.  $128,234.00
Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Inc., St. Johnsbury, will organize approximately 20 youth into work crews that will: maintain St. Johnsbury, Lyndonville, and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital walking/hiking trails, assist the Weed and Seed Club in landscap, repair and paint local alternative schools, plant and maintain community gardens, create a youth park, and other community activities. $156,579.00
Project SOAR, St. Albans, will place 11 high school students (ages 14-17) and 4 out-of-school youth (18-21) in part-and full-time jobs in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.  Younger youth, whose jobs will be mostly part-time will participate in a four-week intensive outdoor/experiential summer program designed to promote good citizenship, work readiness skills, and leadership. Older youth will participate in the outdoor program for as many hours as they can, depending on their work schedules. $75.085.00
Randolph Technical Career Center, Randolph, will place 12 out-of-school youth (18-24) in jobs that will begin mid-June, with a week of work readiness skill building and run through September 30.  Fifteen youth aged 14-17 will participate in a summer tech camp, which will run for 6 weeks.  They will spend each morning in a hands-on program of technical and career education, rotating among various program areas offered by RTCC. Tuition scholarships will be available for participants to attend summer school. $104,119.00
ReCycle North, Burlington/Barre, will enroll 6 out-of-school youth in Burlington who will be YouthBuild participants and/or recent graduates.  They will be employed at ReCycle North learning green construction and employability skills. 8 young people will work at the Barre site focusing on construction and weatherization skills. Enrollees will work 35 hours each week, and will attend a weekly class focusing on Personal and Professional Development. $85,026.00
Smokey House Center, Danby, will provide work opportunities for 14 youthworkers (ages 14-24) to teach the skills, habits and attitudes necessary for success in the workplace.  Youth will work 6 hours a day, for a total of 24 hours a week for seven weeks from June 30th to August 14th, 2009. Youth will work in 6 member crews, led by a crew leader, at Smokey House Center where they will learn relevant workplace skills including those needed for emerging ‘green jobs’. $40,000.00
Sunrise Family Resource Center, Bennington, will run a six-week work readiness and career exploration program to meet the needs of 15 older youth, 18-24, who are pregnant and parenting. All participants will work at local healthcare facilities and will rotate through several departments to learn about the variety of opportunities that exist. They will also participate in work readiness training and assessment. $30,395.00
Tutorial Center, Bennington, will recruit 8 youth, ages 14-24, who will engage in ‘green growing’ horticultural work for 8 weeks, 20 hours per week.  Beginning with a week of goal setting, soft skills awareness, and self-development workshops, it continues with on-the-job work experience and additional workshop sessions.  Participants will plant, prune, harvest and work at the farmers’ market.  $25,000
U-32 High School, E. Montpelier, will enroll approximately 17 youth aged 14-22, some of whom require ‘supported employment’. After a week of job readiness classes and assessment,  participants will be placed on jobsites, many of which will fall into the categories of green jobs and weatherization, for 8 weeks. They will work for 20 hours a week and participate in work readiness skills classes for 1.5 hours per week.  $28,499.00
Vermont Works for Women (VWW), Burlington, will place approximately 20 female participants from northern Vermont, ages 16-24, in two fields that are experiencing growth:  green jobs/energy efficiency and the culinary arts. One crew, based in Chittenden County will visit residents (particularly vulnerable populations) and advise them about energy efficiency strategies. This project was modeled after a pilot project sponsored by Efficiency Vermont. VWW will also work with 10 female youth to prepare meals for children enrolled in Winooski City’s THRIVE summer program. $123.768.00
Vocational Rehabilitation, Burlington, will create a demonstration project that will engage VocRehab clients, having a wide range of disabilities, ages 18-24, in considering a career in the health care field. Fifteen youth will be placed at Fletcher Allen Health Care where they will participate in training, job shadowing and work experience opportunities specifically focused on health careers and expanding the scope of opportunities for these young people. $58.116/00
White River Craft Center, Randolph, will recruit 15 Randolph area at risk youth, ages 18-24. The program will include 3 days of orientation focusing on basic work competencies.  Beginning June 22, 2009, they will work/train for 30 hours per week for 7 weeks. Two professional contractors will work with participants training them in proper and safe use of tools/protective equipment, woodworking, electrical concepts, and other carpentry and weatherization skills. $54,952.00
Youth Services, Brattleboro, will provide a seven week academic and occupational summer experience for nine WIA eligible youth ages 14-16.  This experience will serve needy in-school and out-of-school (25%) youth most at risk. Youth will spend mornings working at various sites around the community; they will then convene with their older counterparts and supervisors to share lunch and life skills building. $33,391.00