05-23-2018  5:34 pm      •     
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Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and other companies have pledged a total of more than 0,000 toward an effort to repeal Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers intended to combat homelessness.Just days after the Seattle City Council approved the levy, the No Tax On Jobs...

14 vehicles destroyed in central Washington brush fire

SELAH, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say 14 vehicles were destroyed in a brush fire in central Washington.The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the fire scorched about a half square mile near Selah on Tuesday.Selah Deputy Fire Chief Jim Lange says the fire threatened multiple homes and burned up to...


Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...


The Latest: Milwaukee NAACP head: No reason to use stun gun

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on Milwaukee police releasing body-camera footage showing the arrest of Bucks guard Sterling Brown (all times local):7:05 p.m.The president of the NAACP in Milwaukee says he doesn't see anything in a newly released police body-camera video that would warrant...

Milwaukee chief apologizes for arrest of Bucks guard Brown

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized to Bucks guard Sterling Brown on Wednesday for a January arrest that started with a parking violation and escalated to include use of a stun gun, and said some officers had been disciplined.Brown responded with a statement...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...


Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...


Family rejoices at finding of soldier's World War II plane

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tom Kelly grew up on a Northern California farm and once thought of becoming a cowboy...

AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a security clearance...

US employee in China reported strange sounds, pressure

BEIJING (AP) — A U.S. government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Summerworks intern
By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

About 750 local young people will gain work experience, financial literacy and a professional network this year through Summerworks, a paid internships program that kicked off Monday.

This workforce development initiative combats youth unemployment. According to Summerworks, there are more than 34,000 young people in the area who are not working or in school.

These numbers are getting worse with time, as youth employment rates have dropped from 44.4 percent to 26 percent. Summerworks estimates that only 12 percent of low-income youth and youth of color are employed.

According to the youth employment non-profit Urban Alliance, early work experiences mean youth are less likely to drop out, have higher grades and lead to greater lifetime earnings. These experiences can keep youth from becoming disconnected from work and school.

In contrast, disconnected youth have a harder time getting a job and are more likely to be incarcerated. A Queens College research study on at-risk youth determined that every 20-year-old that was disconnected with school and work cost the economy $704,020 over his or her lifetime. The losses are from lower wages, less tax revenue and higher government spending.

Summerworks Director Heather Ficht says there are fewer opportunities for youth employment which makes it harder for kids to find jobs.

"It's a national crisis, the lack of youth work opportunities. When was the last time a kid bagged your groceries at the grocery store?” Ficht says. “There just aren't really kid jobs when there are 60,000 adult job seekers out there to compete with who have relevant work experience."

Summerworks pays each internship minimum wage for 180 hours of work during a six- to eight-week time period over the summer. There are different types of work experiences like work and maintenance crews, junior camp counselors, and clerical office support.

The internship prioritizes youth who lack traditional professional networking opportunities: 93 percent of the interns are from low income families, 76 percent are youth of color.

An important part of the program is teaching youth employment readiness skills. Summerworks begins to look for job seekers in April by reaching out to 95 community partners, school districts and faith organizations. From that, they get about 2000 applicants.

During the screening process the youth go through work readiness training. Ficht said this training is like an extended interview and hiring experience which helps young people develop skills in a friendly environment.

“It’s really trying to simulate what the actual process is of applying for work, and being hired, and being evaluated, so that they have the opportunity to learn those skills while the stakes are pretty low,” she said.

Ficht says this training helps to break the cycle where young people aren’t being hired because they don’t have previous work experience.

The program also hosts a series of resource fairs for the youth where they learn about workplace safety, harassment and financial literacy. Part of the education informs the youth about predatory check cashing facilities and credit cards.

“We want to teach them how to be responsible with their own money as we are giving them their first pay check,” Ficht says.

The numbers of interns has grown to 750 this year from 570 the year before and 490 the year previous to last. Multnomah County and the City of Portland are the largest sponsors of interns.

Tri-Met has employed interns to conduct surveys about mass-transit experience. Microchip Technology, Inc ., in Gresham brings in interns to get young people interested in technology jobs in the future.

Summerworks is the youth employment program of Work Systems, the work force development board for the region. They are funded by the federal government to cultivate work force investment through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Summerworks coordinates the program and its partner, the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization who work directly with the interns to screen, train and place them in appropriate jobs.

Funding for the internships comes from a partnership of federal dollars, which support the staff that recruit, screen and train the youth, and local governments and businesses which pay for the wages of the jobs.

Ficht said biggest challenge to the program is finding private-sector employers who are willing to hire young people. Employers are wary of sponsoring $2100 to hire inexperienced interns.

But Ficht believes there are more than enough work-ready young workers in the Summerworks program.

“This is way for young people to build networks and build their resume so that they are able to go and be appropriate and be ready and be prepared for the world of work,” she said.


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