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Gov. Lamont expands state’s youth employment program amid coronavirus crisis


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Until schools can reopen, officials are concerned about what all those students, especially teenagers, are going to do with their time.

Governor Ned Lamont made an announcement about summer jobs Tuesday morning.

Summertime usually means summer jobs for many teenagers. But this is not your usual summer. Lots of people need jobs right now, and they are just not there. Governor Lamont came to New Haven Tuesday morning with some good news, however.

The governor announced that, through a combination of sate and federal funding, some $7.2 million is going to be available for summer youth employment in the state of Connecticut. It’s a program that typically employs about 3,200 young people every year.

Instead of employing fewer this year, Covid-19 funding is actually going to let the state and municipalities hire a couple hundred more than usual.

They will be doing everything from cleaning up city parks, to helping care for the elderly.

Officials were very concerned that with schools being closed for months, the heat of the summer starting, a lack of jobs would leave too many teenagers with too little to do.

“Our kids have been on the sidelines, somewhat socially isolated, hopefully doing some distance learning. We want to get them back in the game,” said Lamont.

So the good news is that they hope to get some 3,500 young people jobs over the next 8 weeks or so until school resumes.

The bad news is, usually more than 9,000 kids apply for those jobs, so they are still meeting the needs of only a third of the young people who are looking for them.

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