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Governor Launches Youth Jobs Initiative

Challenge to Utah businesses: 1,000 jobs for youth for summer

Salt Lake City - Governor Jon Huntsman issued a call to action Wednesday to the businesses of Utah to hire, mentor and enable youth to work in today's expanding economy. The program, "Connecting Utah's Youth to Utah's Economy," is tied to the Department of Workforce Services youth programs, aiming the focus on at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

"We know that if kids fall through the cracks the costs are extremely high," Governor Huntsman said. "This is a clarion call to businesses to find jobs for our youth, especially whose lives could best be shaped and impacted in the workplace."

The Governor challenged Utah businesses to open 1,000 jobs to youth by June 21, the first day of summer. He announced a job hotline for businesses to call: 1-888-920-WORK.

The Department of Workforce Services has about 2,000 at-risk and disadvantaged youth who have applied for services from their youth programs. Governor Huntsman vowed to work on more jobs for those youth after the first 1,000 jobs have been obtained.

"This is a great opportunity for us to connect Utah's youth to Utah's economy," said Tani Downing, DWS executive director.

Governor Huntsman held the news conference at the United Parcel Service office in West Valley Wednesday afternoon. Three youth speakers shared their employment stories during the event. The Governor was joined in support for the initiative by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah State Office of Education, Governor's Office of Economic Development, Department of Community and Culture and the DWS State and Regional councils.

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