Two weeks after President Bush signed emergency urban aid legislation sending $5.5 million to provide summer work for Maryland's youths, county officials are scrambling to fill 250 to 300 jobs.
The county Office of Workforce Development sponsored two job clinics last week to fill the nearly 100 new jobs created in Anne Arundel Arundel by the new federal allocation.
Tom Pierce, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development (DEED), said the county had already received $219,734 for summer employment programs before getting the additional $128,000.
The county is using its amended budget to match income-eligible young people between the ages of 14 and 21 with office and maintenance jobs in both public and non-profit agencies.
"We had 200 jobs before the new funding," said Frank Rach, a spokesman for the Office of Workforce Development. "The state has given us more money to recruit more kids.
"We went out to the public sector for more jobs and now we have between 250 and 300 jobs to fill," Mr. Rach said.
To be eligible, young people must come from families whose income is no more than $9,400 for a family of two; $12,910 for a family of three; $15,930 for a family of four; and $18,800 for a family of five.
Applicants who are in foster care, receive public assistance or are mentally or physically handicapped also can qualify for the positions.
Dennis Ryan, coordinator of the county's summer job program and its job clinics, reported a steady stream of young people looking for employment.
"We did most of our recruiting through the public schools when they were in session," he said.
"But with more supply, there is more demand."
The summer job program began June 29 and will run for six weeks, until Aug. 14. The youngsters will work 30 hours a week for $4.25 an hour.
Mr. Ryan ushered in groups of at least 10 youngsters at a time at the job clinics all day last Wednesday in Annapolis and Thursday in Glen Burnie.
He guided them through 30 minutes of extensive paperwork and applications. All eligible youngsters were placed in jobs almost immediately.
"This is a good program," Mr. Ryan said. "There is a recession out there and it's difficult to get a job anywhere else but at a McDonald's or a Hardee's.
"This experience is offering these kids substantial work, and we are doing our best to accommodate them."