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President Obama Announces New Jobs Plan for Teens

President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference in the South Auditorium of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

     On Thursday, Jan. 5, the White House announced President Barack Obama’s newest proposal to improve the economy: Summer Jobs+.  The purpose of Summer Jobs+ is to help low-income people from the ages 16 to 24.  The $1.5 billion allotted to the program is geared to create upwards of 250 thousand jobs.

     “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” said Obama in Thursday’s press release.  “That’s why today, we’re launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs forAmerica’s youth.”

     The press release praised the efforts toward jobs in the summer of 2011 from a handful of businesses, such as UPS and Jamba Juice.

     “[Those businesses] created thousands of summer work opportunities for our youth,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in her speech on Wednesday, Jan. 4.  “Together, we opened up 80 thousand summer job opportunities forAmerica’s youth.”

     Thirty-three different businesses and organizations pledged support to Summer Jobs+.  AT&T, which was also commended for commitments by the Department of Labor, hopes to supply over 300 summer jobs.  The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, is striving to give job experiences to over 7 thousand youths.  Another company, Gap Incorporated, is planning to utilize a series of courses which would educate over 80 thousand young adults.

     However, the organization does not only assist the young-adults in need.

     “I’ve heard from countless employers about the value they’ve found in hiring young summer workers,” said Solis.  “It creates lasting personal connections that build loyalty and add value to a company. It helps companies build a pipeline of highly qualified local talent.”

     Even colleges are putting efforts forward, such asSyracuseUniversity, which will grant around 200 jobs to students working in its summer leadership camp (Say Yes to Education).

     Solis closed her speech with optimism, a plea for more businesses to chip in.

     “So I’ll close by making a plea to employers in a position to make a difference,” said Solis.  “If Jamba Juice can put our youth to work, so can other beverage manufacturers. If Wells Fargo can make a major commitment, so can other leading banks and financial institutions. If UPS can create a summer jobs program, so can other package delivery and logistics companies. If We are Golf can help young people swing for the greens this summer, so can other nonprofits and sports institutions.”

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