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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
It took a little longer than expected, but the funding for the youth employment program for Lucas County has come in.
Just this week, Lucas County commissioners announced over one million dollars in funding for the program. It came from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
The funding will allow over 500 Lucas County kids, ages 16-24, to work a maximum of 40 hours a week at $8.00 an hour.
It's a very successful program, but at one point, some weren't sure if it would even happen this year.
"Youth employment programs really go back a long way but, the last few years it's always depending on if the funding is available," said Mike Veh, Workforce Development Manager at the Source.
In the past, the Lucas County Workforce Development Agency received stimulus money that put over 1,000 youth to work during the summer, but funding cuts have cut that number in half and funding has become more program specific.
"Under the stimulus program we had a large amount of money for stimulus for youth, the last couple years they've all been through JFS and the Temporary Aid for Needy Families program," said Mr. Veh.
The $1.7 million for the program this year was allocated just weeks before youth start applying for work.
"We knew probably several weeks ago that the funds were coming, we just didn't know how much and the problem with a program like this is you really can't do a whole lot until you know how much money is coming because you can't estimate how many kids you're going to be able to put to work," said Mr. Veh.
With funds coming from both the state and federal government, the Workforce Development Agency is often left wondering when and where their funds are coming from. Something they always plan for.
In the case of the summer youth employment program, it has created an opportunity to give over 500 Lucas County youth much needed work.
"It's a good program to have for youth because they need that activity in the summer and they need that experience. It helps the families out, a little extra cash to help the families and it does keep the kids occupied so that they don't have a lot of downtime. They don't have anything to do and they're getting into trouble, so it's a really good combination program," said Mr. Veh.
For more information about the program and who qualifies, go to the Source website at www.thesourcenwo.com