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$5 million grant for 1,200 Jobs for Fifth District Youth

Congressman Cleaver and Governor Nixon announce $5 million grant for 1,200 Jobs for Fifth District Youth

Announcement is largest in Missouri and will pay $10 an hour, 40 hours a week

In April, Congressman Cleaver convened a meeting at the Kauffman Foundation of some of the areas top businesses and non-profits doing work in the emerging green arena. At the meeting, he expressed concern that our young people would be getting out of school soon and, like their parents, would face a very difficult job market. The Congressman learned very well during his days as Mayor, and he would quickly say even more as a father, that idle hands often find their way into trouble.

At that meeting, the Congressman explained that a federal program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), funded through the Recovery Act, could be used to pay 80 percent of the cost of a youth summer jobs program here in Missouri’s Fifth District.  He then asked the assembled companies and non-profits if they were interested in mentoring teams of 16-24 years olds this summer and could they find the 20 percent non-federal match.

The non-profits and local companies came through in a big way and committed $1.25 million in non-federal match to the table to leverage a stimulus fund grant request. This Monday, Governor Nixon stood in Ms. Annette Johnson’s front yard in Troostwood and announced the State of Missouri would award $5 million to hire 1,200 young people in Missouri’s Fifth District. Statewide $18 million was awarded to hire 4,800 young people across Missouri.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate the first official day of summer. Starting today, we will be able to put over 1,200 kids to work, in neighborhoods right here in Missouri’s Fifth District doing work that they can build a career on for the rest of their lives. These are jobs we need done and will provide mentoring our young people need. This is a win, win, win, program,” said Congressman Cleaver. “This is a huge investment in our young people and I am proud to say it is happening right here, right now in our neighborhoods. There is no program in the nation as aggressive as ours.”

Governor Jay Nixon talked about the importance of the jobs program to the state, “The Missouri Summer Jobs Program is an initiative that is more than just an employment program. More importantly, this is a program that will provide approximately 4,800 young Missourians with invaluable work experience and partnerships at participating businesses across the state that will help them develop vital skills for 21st century careers in our state’s diverse industries.” 

The program will pay $10 an hour, 40 hours a week. Each Friday, the youth will participate in “Green In-Service Days” where they will go on field trips and listen to presentations given by leaders in the green and sustainability career fields.

The program is open to all 16-24 year olds in Missouri’s Fifth District that meet qualifying criteria. Young people interested in applying for a job should visit www.feckc.org or call the Full Employment Council at 816-471-2330.

“This is very good news. For those who know young people who are looking for work, please encourage them to call and get involved. The jobs will not be easy, but they will be rewarding. The opportunity is here now. It is time to get to work,” said Cleaver.

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