White House chooses N.J. city for summer jobs program

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on May 19, 2016

 

NEWARK — Can summer jobs for teenagers help reduce violence in the state's largest city? Local and federal politicians are willing to bet on it.

In an announcement this week, the White House named Newark one of 16 "Summer Impact Hub" cities across the country. As such, Newark officials will be paired with a "summer ambassador" from the White House who will leverage federal resources in an effort to increase employment and decrease violence among young people, officials said in the announcement.

The White House called the hub cities "communities that will receive robust, coordinated support from 16 federal agencies to expand and refine their summer jobs (and) learning, including exposure to local innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities, meals, and violence reduction programs."

The initiative, officials said, is aimed at creating job opportunities for at-risk teens in cities across America. Other "hub" cities include Baltimore, Md. and Memphis, Tenn.

In a statement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the designation is in line with a new
"Newark Jobs Plan" that he will announce soon.

"The choice of Newark as a Special Impact Hub is an important addition to Newark's coordinated programs targeted to young people," Baraka said. "But more importantly, it is a first step in the city's massive effort to create jobs and lift the economy of Newark."

Last year, the city signed on to take part in President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, a mentoring program targeting young men of color.

This summer, multiple federal agencies will work together to connect Newark kids to summer jobs, and more, officials said.

"Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don't have access to many resources and opportunities," Obama said in a statement.

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