Mayor Takes $200,000 of Jobs Money for Administrative Support of Youth Programs

The city’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB) has approved spending $200,000 of federal jobs money to hire a part time staff person to coordinate the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program and to support the work of nonprofit agencies that provide summer jobs.

City staff, speaking at Thursday’s WIB meeting, said the Mayor’s office had requested that that the WIB find a way to support the summer jobs program.

Explaining the proposal, staff said that only $50,000 would be used to pay for the part time coordinator position, and $150,000 would be used as direct services to agencies that create youth jobs.

However, they never specified what those direct services to youth agencies are.

According to the city report, the $200,000 would be used to “coordinate summer employment activities overall… (and) disburse funds to service providers to maximize summer employment opportunities.”

“I believe this motion is out of order,” said Gay Plair Cobb, CEO of the Oakland Private Industry Council, explaining that recommendations for expenditures of youth money must first go to the WIB Youth Council.

However, the Youth Council did not make a recommendation because it had lacked a quorum when the issue was discussed. The City Attorney ruled that the motion was not out of order.

However, according to Cobb, “Even if it were in order, (this expenditure) is a very problematic proposition.” Instead of using money that should be earmarked for service to the unemployed, she said, the WIB should be asking, “What other sources of revenue we can look at to support” the administration of the summer jobs program.

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One Comment

  1. Directing jobs money to administrative support for youth programs could be a good thing, depending on how this money ends up being used. Supporting summer job programs can definitely help youth get summer employment, which can add value and experience to their resume for future positions. Being employed in the summer can also help them learn new skills that they might not have the opportunity to learn otherwise. Looking for jobs in Oakland for youth and for adults can sometimes be hard, but putting more money into developing jobs for the youth may help them in being able to find a position.

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