June 03, 2010

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen stressed her support for critical youth summer jobs programs today at a press conference at Dover High School.  Joining Shaheen at the event were local representatives of MY TURN New Hampshire, which provides career guidance, job training, and job placement assistance for at-risk youth.  Shaheen is currently working to help ensure Congress continues to support youth summer jobs programs this year, which is necessary to make sure programs like MY TURN will be able to operate this summer.

"We can't build a 21st century economy unless we start giving young people the chance to participate," said Shaheen.  "We need teenagers with all types of skills and interests - and by giving them a foot in the door, they give back to our state's economy.  That's the power of this program." 

The job market for teens today is worse than it's been at any time since the end of World War II as high unemployment has forced more adults to compete for jobs that once largely went to young people.  Last year, only 28.5 percent of teens had a job and the unemployment rate for teenagers looking for work is more than double the national unemployment average.

In response to the bleak youth job market, last year Congress provided assistance for youth summer jobs programs that allowed organizations like MY TURN to place young people into jobs where they could earn money, develop new skills and cultivate professional relationships. 

"The Children's Museum had four MY TURN students last summer, and they were a great help to us on the museum floor," said Douglas Tilton, Director of Visitor's Services at The Children's Museum of New Hampshire and a participant in today's press conference.  "Staff was able to focus on other projects, and this was a great way to both give back to the community and give these young people work experience.  We would love to partner with MY TURN in the future, and I'd like to thank Senator Shaheen for her support of summer youth employment."

Next week, the Senate will consider the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act," which would extend financial support for youth summer jobs programs for another year, giving hundreds more young people in New Hampshire the chance to participate.   

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