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City Council Votes To Save Job-Training Program

Aired 11/28/12 on KPBS News.

The San Diego City Council today approved spending $200,000 to save a job-training program from going dormant a second time.

The San Diego City Council today approved spending $200,000 to save a job-training program from going dormant a second time.

The funds will go to the San Diego Workforce Partnership's Hire-a-Youth program.

Hire-a-Youth was federally funded from the late 1980s to 2000, when support ended, according to Margie de Ruyter of the program. Hire a Youth was revived in 2009 with $10 million in federal stimulus funds.

She said about 5,000 youths have gotten summer jobs, internships and training over the past three years.

City Council President Tony Young said the program was vital in underserved communities.

"It's very important for any city that wants to be competitive in its region,'' Young said.

Young and Mayor-elect Bob Filner urged business owners to get involved in Hire-a-Youth.

Half the $200,000 comes from the city's Community Projects Fund and the other half from seven of the eight City Council Offices.

Young gave $25,000. Councilman Carl DeMaio was the only one not to contribute.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner provided $30,000 of her office funds.

"This is an opportunity for young people to actually work in a position that might give them some idea of the jobs that are available out there and what sort of training they might need for the future," she said.

Lightner said there is a skills gap in San Diego. There are jobs available, but no one trained or qualified to fill them. This program is supposed to address that. Lightner said the hope is private companies will step in and help fund the program in the future.

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