Summer jobs sprout from U.S. funds

July 02, 1992|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau

ANNAPOLIS -- Want to work on an Army base without joining the Army?

How about tromping around the shores of Chesapeake Bay doing cleanup for the state Department of Natural Resources?

Maybe you'd rather work for a private business. Or, if you run a private business, maybe you'd like the government to share with you the cost of hiring some teen-age help this summer.

None of the jobs will pay much -- $4.25 an hour, the minimum wage. Most will last only through the dog days of summer.

But Gov. William Donald Schaefer said yesterday that the state has either created or identified some 1,700 jobs and another 1,700 summertime activities that will offer some of the state's poorest young people the opportunity to make spending money, learn something new, or simply stay out of trouble.

The state hurriedly threw together its summer jobs plan to assure that Maryland can take advantage of some $7.5 million unexpectedly sent by Congress as part of a new urban aid program developed in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots. The state had previously received an additional $9.5 million for jobs from the federal government.

The new money, however, did not arrive in Maryland until summer had already begun.

Displaying a -- of creativity, the state's plan attempts to identify jobs while also offering valuable experience to young workers.

The Department of Economic and Employment Development lined up 75 private companies to offer up to 200 summer jobs, for which the state has agreed to "rebate" 50 percent of the wages.

At the behest of state General Services Secretary Martin W. Walsh Jr., a former career Army officer, the state also convinced Army officials at Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground to hire low-income youths to fill summer groundskeeping, maintenance and clerical jobs. Supervision and training are to be done by the Army, but the state, using the new federal funds, will pay the tab.

To be eligible for the jobs, youths have to be 14 to 21 and come from homes with incomes that meet federal standards -- less than $16,000 for a family of four. Most of the jobs are expected to run July 6 through Aug. 21.

For younger children, the state has associated itself with at least 30 churches to help extend the length of summer camps already offered in Baltimore and in Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties. Working through the Department of Education, the state also is helping to expand camp programs to include courses in reading, math, science and writing.

The state also is trying to get local health departments to provide free immunizations at the summer camp centers, and the Department of Transportation is trying to find ways to move the youngsters from their homes to their summer jobs.

Summer jobs program

Youths from poor families can register for summer jobs in Baltimore and every county as part of the state's summer jobs initiative.

The work will be available July 6 through Aug. 21, with the exception of some private positions that will last through Sept. 15. The jobs pay a minimum wage of $4.25 an hour.

Participants must be 14 to 21. Eligibility is limited to those whose families are enrolled in public assistance programs, such as food stamps, or whose family income is below specified levels.

Baltimore youths who have not already registered may do so at the Fifth Regiment Army on July 9, 14 or 15.

In Baltimore: call your Mayor's Station Urban Services Center, or your parks and recreation office, or 333-7294.

In Baltimore County: 887-4473.

In Anne Arundel County: 222-1319.

In Carroll and Howard counties: 313-7262.

In Harford and Cecil counties: 836-4604 or 398-3810.

Outside the Baltimore area: 1-800-827-4839.

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