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Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, March 08, 2007

LR CITY, CHAMBER SET GOAL OF 400 JOBS FOR AREA YOUTH

2007 Summer Jobs Alliance Launches Effort

(Thursday, March 8, 2007) – “When Little Rock’s youth have job opportunities, it helps the entire City,” stated Russ Harrington, chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce at an announcement for the 2007 Summer Jobs Alliance. Harrington was joined by business and governmental leaders in announcing the goal of providing 400 jobs for Little Rock youth through this initiative.

The Summer Jobs Alliance is a joint initiative of the City of Little Rock, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and New Futures for Youth. Last year, 369 youths were employed during the summer through this effort.

“Popular culture tries to tell us that today’s youth are not interested in working. That is not the case,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “Little Rock has hundreds of youth who want to not only earn a paycheck, but to gain work experience, and to explore career options. These youth are not missing the drive to succeed, but many are missing the opportunity.”

“We recognize that many youth do not understand all the aspects of having a job,” said City Director Ken Richardson, who is also Director of Program Services for New Futures for Youth. “So we design this program to teach youth about being a good employee. Before starting with their assignment, we offer a week of training. This gives the participants the opportunity to learn about appropriate employee behavior, clothing, and other expectations from employers. This not only helps the youth learn, but it assures the participating employers that their employees will be outstanding representatives of the organization.” 

This is the 12th year for the Summer Jobs Alliance. “We have had many successes from this program,” said Mayor Stodola. “The youths learn life lessons and earn money. The employers are employing outstanding youth while having their own human resources needs met.”

“We encourage all members of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce to participate in this program,” Harrington said. “Little Rock continues to be recognized as an outstanding location for business development. One of those reasons is our workforce. The Summer Jobs Alliance helps ensure that we continue to have dynamic employees for years to come.”

For more information about how to participate, businesses can contact New Futures for Youth at 374-1011 or www.newfuturesforyouth.org. Application forms for youths and for businesses are available for download from that website.

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