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Summer youth employment programs get boost

5/27/2010 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summer jobs for more than 1,000 Summit County youths will be available through federal funding received by the county.

During Summit County Council’s May 24 meeting, Council voted to appropriate nearly $2.3 million from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for youth employment. The funding originated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to the legislation.

The additional funds will allow the county to extend contracts with the Akron Urban League, East Akron Community House, Summit County Youth Employment for Success (YES) and Tri County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, according to Christine Marshall, deputy director of Summit County Job and Family Services. 

It also will allow two new contracts, one with Akron Public Schools and another with Minority Behavioral Health Group.

In total, the funding will allow for up to 1,411 youths to take on paid employment, Marshall said. The wage will be $7.30 an hour, and work assignments will last between eight and 10 weeks, she added.

Jobs will be available for youths whose families meet Temporary Assistance to Needy Families guidelines, Marshall said. To meet those, a family must have a minor child in the home and have an income at or below 200 percent of the poverty level (which for a family of four is $40,100).

Youths ages 14-24 are eligible for employment, Marshall said. For ages 14-17, the youth must be enrolled in school. Youths ages 18-24 qualify if they are in a family with a minor sibling or if they are the head of a household and have a minor child.

For more information on the jobs, contact the Akron Urban League, 330-434-3101; Akron Public Schools, 330-761-3297; YES, 330-643-7886; East Akron Community House, 330-773-6838; Minority Behavioral Health Group, 330-374-1199; or Tri County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, 330-374-9445.

Also Monday, Council adopted a resolution supporting the state’s efforts in applying for Race to the Top school funding.

State Rep. Stephen Dyer (D-District 43) appeared before Council and said the county’s school districts and charter schools that agree to participate in the program could receive a total of about $14 million.

Race to the Top is a competitive grant program designed to encourage and reward states that have demonstrated success in raising student achievement and have the best plans to accelerate them in the future, according to the legislation.

The state’s application is due to the U.S. Department of Education June 1.

While before Council, Dyer also thanked members and President Jon Poda (D-at large) for efforts in 2007 to thwart the manufacture of methamphetamine in the county. That year, Council adopted an ordinance restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine, which is used to manufacture the illegal drug.

Dyer said he introduced legislation in the House shortly after taking office and was pleased that it recently passed unanimously and has moved on to the Senate for consideration. The Methamphetamine Awareness and Notification Act would require homeowners to disclose upfront in sales transactions whether their property has been used as a drug lab.

Council also adopted a resolution regarding drainage maintenance assessments on the Marmont Office Park in the Brookmont Acres Allotment in Copley. The assessment will require an annual fee ranging from $277 to $600 from the property owners.

Also adopted were three pieces of legislation allowing four new hires for the county: a senior administrator to oversee the county’s 800 MHz radio system at a salary of $77,210 annually; two assistant poundkeepers in the Animal Control Division at a salary of $33,300 each annually; and a director of administration-legal for the Sheriff’s Office at a salary not to exceed $77,210.

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, Council next will meet for committee meetings June 7 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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