Governor Granholm Announces 250 New Jobs for Benton Harbor Youth

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

July 1, 2003

BENTON HARBOR – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that through collaboration between state departments, Michigan has created 250 new summer job opportunities for youth in Benton Harbor.

“These jobs will give the youth of Benton Harbor the opportunity to earn some money, learn job skills, and avoid the idle time that can lead to trouble,” Granholm said.  “Most importantly, these jobs will give the young people of Benton Harbor a sense of hope and pride in themselves and their community.”

The jobs will be targeted at youth ages 14 to 21 – the segment of the Benton Harbor community with the highest unemployment rate.

“Jobs hold the key to unlocking opportunities for our young people,” said Granholm.  “The State of Michigan is focused on helping the Benton Harbor community help its young people find and take advantage of job opportunities.”

Granholm’s announcement follows a visit to the community two weeks ago and the creation last Friday of a task force of local residents, community leaders, and state officials to implement strategies to further assist Benton Harbor. 

The jobs will be supported through existing funds from the Departments of Career Development and Transportation (MDOT).  Fifty jobs will be in MDOT’s Youth Corps program and will offer local youth the opportunity to work alongside MDOT cleanup crews and “job shadow” MDOT employees.  A total of $499,000 in existing youth job development funds will be directed to the program.  

The jobs will be administered through Benton Harbor Youth Works, a local collaborative initiative which brings various community organizations together to focus on youth employment.  Michigan Works! is a Benton Harbor Youth Works partner.

Community leaders are expected to make an announcement later this morning regarding details about applying for youth jobs.

For more information, applicants can contact the Benton Harbor Youth Works hotline at 269-927-1064.