At a May 14 press conference, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Susan Bonilla and Workforce Development Board Executive Director Bob Lanter announced that $2.5 million of $6.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will go toward the Contra Costa Youth@Work program.
Lanter said under the program up to 1,000 teenagers will have the opportunity to learn needed job skills and will then be placed in a business to work for 120 hours during the summer.
"It is imperative to give our youth the opportunity to learn the skills and practices crucial to long-term success in the professional world," said Lanter. "By creating new opportunities for the youth, we are building the skills of our county's future workforce and helping support local business."
Lanter said that in the program, residents ages 14-24 will have the opportunity to learn skills and practices usable in the business world. The participants will be given aptitude tests to determine their skills and interests, and then be placed with a business.
The teens taking part in the program will work a total of 120 hours over the summer and will be paid $8.25 an hour.
In Danville, Spectrum on Science Foundation will be taking part in the program. Lanter said other Danville businesses may be in the program as well, but Spectrum is already on board.
Bonilla said she is pleased with the program and is happy to see the stimulus dollars providing needed job skills.
"It is a vital contribution to the future development of an educated and skillful workforce," she said.
The teen job program is only one area where the stimulus funds are being used. Lanter said that $1.1 million will be used to provide adult employment and training services to help low income residents compete in the job market. Also $2.7 million is targeted at county residents who have lost their jobs. The Workforce Development Board will help in retraining employees to seek other jobs in the market, as well as helping them to refine their skills during the job search.