The Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island has announced a $2.1 million state and federal grant that will help more youth secure summer jobs. Beginning in July, more than 20 community–based organizations across the state will offer work experience to more than 1,400 youth.
"In this current economy a lot of adults are taking a lot of those summer job opportunities from youth. Traditional summer jobs for kids don't really exist any more," said Justin Waranis of the Tri–Town Community Action Agency.
David Brouillard of Glocester completed the Youth Works 411 program, and after an apprenticeship he was hired full time at a Portsmouth marina. Tuesday, the 21–year–old was presented with an award at the Crown Plaza Hotel during the partnership's annual meeting.
Brouillard's new boss says the real life industry skills the youth brought to the table impacted his decision to bring him on.
"He's obviously our youngest team member and so his perspective offers just a refreshing attitude," said Brandon Kidd, VP of Pirate Cove.
Brouillard says the program has given him the building blocks he needs to make it, and has encouraged him to find his calling.
"My goal is to find that thing that is for me and I'll try everything if I have to," he said.
The jobs are available to youth ages 14 to 24. The workers get paid minimum wage.
(C) WLNE–TV 2014 Follow me on Twitter @MelissaARandall