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Non-profits needed to fill out Summer Youth Employment Program

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona talks with staff at the West Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations office and potential summer youth employers Wednesday, May 26. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Finn Gallagher | Student Reporter)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

We’ve got the kids. Now we need some summer work for them.

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona was in Kona last week to talk up the Summer Youth Employment Program, which is using $3 million of federal stimulus money to put students to work.

During his visit to the West Hawaii office of the state Labor and Industrial Relations office, Aiona urged non-profits to enroll in the 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program and receive help from young workers immediately through Sep. 30.

Aiona has been working closely with the state DLIR and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to enroll state government offices across Hawaii in the program. Counties also are enrolling in the program.

However, the number of youth ages 14 to 23 has exceeded the number of available jobs, so Aiona is urging non-profits groups and organizations to take advantage of the program. As of Thursday, more than 120 youth in Kona alone had signed up.

“I want to get our youth employed,” he said. “The challenge is finding work sites. We have the resources, we have the funds. We just need to get the word out to the state and county offices, and the non-profits to offer jobs. We need to be creative.”

At least 18 state departments have positions available and Aiona’s office will take on older students who can help draft bills, do some general writing and assist in the office.

He said he expects students to be offered work through the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of Education, as well as in county offices and federal agencies.

“This program helps our young people earn money and gain valuable work experience at a time when many state agencies and non-profits are short-staffed due to layoffs and funding restrictions,” Aiona said. “I don’t look at this as a waste of money. It’s an investment in our young people.”

The program is especially welcome in tough economic times, he said.

“Any family member who can contribute to the household is valuable,” he said.

The DLIR Workforce Development Division is the employer of record and is responsible for payment of wages to the young workers. DLIR will also provide any necessary equipment required for the jobs.

Financing for the program is through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal stimulus funds. Specifically, a minimum of $3 million in TANF funds will go to the program, with funding for Neighbor Islands totaling $1.8 million. Additional federal funds are available if enrollment in the program is larger than expected.

Applications for job seekers and for government agencies and non-profit organizations that want to serve as worksites can be downloaded at

One Response to “Non-profits needed to fill out Summer Youth Employment Program”

  1. Tanya Ahina says:

    I believe this is a win win situation for our youth, our non-profits, and our economy!


Leave a Reply to Tanya AhinaCancel reply

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