Louisiana agency asks businessto hire 125 youths this summer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 2, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Since the federal government did not fund its summer job program for youth this year, the LaSalle Community Action Association is asking businesses in its six-parish area to hire 125 youth this summer.

&uot;These are kids who need this money to pay for school,&uot; said Dorothy Oliver, executive director of the agency’s Louisiana Workforce Center.

&uot;And it’s a way for them to learn work skills and become involved in their community,&uot; she added, speaking at the Ferriday Chamber of Commerce’s Monday meeting.

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The agency has conducted its summer job program for 15 years now with the help of federal funds. The program is open to youth from 16 to 21 years of age.

In past years, youth in the program in Concordia Parish mostly worked government agencies such as the Sheriff’s Office, Police Jury and Clerk of Court’s Office.

Typical jobs have included outdoor manual labor and clerical work.

In addition, the agency usually asks employers taking part in the program to work the youth 32 hours a week for six weeks.

But Oliver is encouraging businesses who do not have that much work available to hire youth for as many as work hours as they can.

&uot;However much you can do is fine. … If the private sector gets involved, you can keep 125 children off the streets,&uot;&160;Oliver said.

The agency is now distributing forms to businesses throughout the area it serves — Concordia, Catahoula, Avoyelles, Grant, LaSalle and Winn parishes.

Applications should be returned by the end of May so participating youth can start their jobs in June, Oliver said.

Forms can be requested from the center’s main office in Jena at (318) 992-8271 or 8264 or from its Ferriday office at (318) 757-9213.