Campaign to place hundreds of western Massachusetts youth in summer jobs

Youth ages 14-21 will benefit from campaign

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Regional Employment Board of Hampden County can be thanked for partnering with employers across Hampden County to offer employment to area young people this summer.

On Friday, their annual jobs campaign kicked off in Holyoke at the Green High-Performance Computing Center on Bigelow Street. The board’s goal is to give jobs to 800 area young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

Getting a job young can also be a way to network, explore fields of study, and jump start a career. People employed through the YouthWorks jobs program will earn $11 an hour and work an average of 125 hours for six weeks.

Dave Cruise, the president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, told 22News, “Particularly in the STEM fields like math and science, so they can begin to develop some skills and competencies that will not only help them at school and to graduate, but also as they look at both their educational and employment careers.”

Massachusetts spends about $11.5-million to fund youth jobs across the commonwealth, which is a number that has fallen in recent years. Employment programs are not able to fund about 20% of the jobs they used to.

Employers interested in hiring youth, or becoming a YouthWorks worksite should contact Kathryn Kirby at 413-755-1358 or kkirby@rebhc.org