Commissioner Smith unveils 25 jobs for 25 local youths

June 16, 2011

On June 16 Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith unveiled a program to provide local youth with 25 summer jobs at the county.

The commissioner’s announcement followed her forum last month that asked young African-American men to explain what they need to succeed. About 200 people showed up at that May 11 forum and their answer was clear: they need jobs and opportunities to further their education.

Today, youth unemployment is 30 percent and summer vacation for many students means three long months to fill without a job.

“If our young people are successful, then our communities will be successful.” Commissioner Smith said at a June 16 news conference. “Keeping busy and getting a head start on work experience is key to that success.”

Commissioner Smith worked with various county departments to create 25 summer positions at Multnomah County. Students will be working with the Library, Information Technology, the Department of Community Justice, the Health Department and other county offices as part of the program.

“I cannot wait to see the contributions these interns bring to Multnomah County this summer,” Smith said at a news conference with Chair Jeff Cogen.

Commissioner Smith closed the press conference asking the private sector to match the county’s program and offer 25 more jobs to local youth.

The City of Portland, Worksystems Inc., Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), POIC and IRCO are strategic partners in the Summer Jobs program.