Longtime jobs program seeing more use

Slim job prospects means high interest in Bethlehem’s Y.E.S. service

— According to a recent study by the United Stated Department of Labor, 4.1 million people between the ages of 16 and 24 were unemployed in July of 2011. That figure is down from 4.4 million in July of 2010 when unemployment was at an all time high for that age group since 1944.

“Kids need help to find work now,” Promutico said.

Although local jobs are still scare, the program helped to fill nearly 200 positions last year.

Residents who need assistance with chores like housework, yard work, shoveling, babysitting, animal care or handyman work can call the program with job listings. Business owners who have entry-level work available can also call.

However, Lanahan said the program merely provides matching services. It is not guaranteed the youth will get a job and employers must do interviews or screenings on their own.

“We try to follow up and make sure the employer is satisfied,” she said. “It usually works out, but we can suspend a student from the program if need be.”

Lanahan said the program has continued for so long out of need.

“The program is important because of how hard our economy has made it to obtain a job,” she said. “It’s just another avenue to make those connections.”

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