03/06/18 — City tweaks jobs program

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City tweaks jobs program

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on March 6, 2018 5:50 AM

The Goldsboro City Council decided Monday to remove its low-income restriction for applicants to the city's summer youth employment program.

Based on the low number of applicants to the program, the council also agreed to re-open the application process and allow teens another month to apply.

Councilman Bevan Foster asked for additional time after learning that a parent needed more time to submit low-income verification.

The summer job program, planned to offer 57 part-time jobs to teens this year, was discussed during a program update at council's work session Monday.

Shycole Simpson-Carter, Goldsboro community relations director, asked the council to relax the low-income requirement, which she says has led to a low number of applicants this year.

"We've received emails, several letters and we got voicemails saying they wanted to apply but couldn't because of the income guidelines," Simpson-Carter said, after the work session.

"The impediment for the program is the income requirement."

The council attached low-income requirements to the program this year, including $32,400 for a family of two, $36,450 for a family of three and $40,450 for a family of four.

In 2017 -- the first year of the program -- close to 400 teens attended an information session and almost 300 applied to the program.

This year, the interest has reduced to nearly one-quarter of the turnout experienced in 2017.

Instead of one information session, three were held this year, resulting in a total turnout of 130 students. The city started accepting applications in January and continued for a month until Feb. 9. In all, 74 teens applied.

Simpson-Carter told the council that only 30 of the applicants were found to be eligible for the program. The other 44 applicants were found ineligible for living outside the city limits, failing to meet low-income requirements, failing to attend an information session and 17 did not submit low-income verification.

Simpson-Carter asked the council to relax the income requirements and to allow another three weeks for teens to apply to the program.

The council agreed to re-open the application timeframe for another month. No vote was taken, but the council agreed by consensus.

Councilman Antonio Williams spoke against removing the low-income criteria, claiming the program was first started to help teens that needed a boost in the job market.

"The reason this was created was for the low-income families, for the low-wealth communities," Williams said. "It wasn't created for kids that could get a job on their own, the kids that had two family members that had a certain salary."

Mayor Chuck Allen said the program can continue to place a priority on teens that come from low-income households.

The summer youth employment program will offer 57 jobs, with the city paying the cost of 47 jobs and the Goldsboro Housing Authority paying for another 10.

Teens will be paid $7.25 per hour and will work about 20 hours each week during a six-week period, either June 11 through July 20 or July 9 through Aug. 18.

Applications are being accepted by the city of Goldsboro, and the jobs will be posted on the city's website.

The program is a collaborative effort by the city, the housing authority, Wayne Community College and the N.C. Works Career Center.