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June 24, 2024

Worcester allocates $1.5M for youth employment program

Photo | Timothy Doyle Worcester City Hall

In an effort to shore up youth employment program YouthWorks following a state-level cut in funding, the City of Worcester has allocated $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help fund youth employment opportunities.

The funding will help create summer employment opportunities for youth in Worcester and southern Worcester County, including with Recreational Worcester, the City’s free youth summer programming program. 

“The City of Worcester is proud to dedicate ARPA funds toward youth employment opportunities,” City Manager Eric Batista said in a Thursday press release announcing the funding. “It is critical our youth have strong community ties and the opportunity to gain workforce experience, especially during the summer months.”

The additional funding will help prevent the elimination of more than 600 employment opportunities for people ages 16 to 22 from nearly 100 employer partners participating in YouthWorks, according to the City press release.

“This funding is a game changer for our city’s youth this summer, and for nearly 100 sites across the city where youth will be employed in childcare, biotech, health care, summer camps, and many more sectors,” Marybeth Campbell, CEO of Worcester Community Action Council, said in the press release. “WCAC is thankful that the City Manager knows firsthand the value that early employment experiences create for our youth and appreciative that he is committing these funds to help more than 600 youth gain new skills in the workplace.”

WCAC manages the YouthWorks program, which is open to young Worcester residents from low-income backgrounds, according to the organization’s website. The program runs from July 8 to Aug. 16. 

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