FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2009



More than 500 Union County Youths Benefit from Summer Jobs Program


Elizabeth, NJ -- More than 500 young Union County residents gained valuable on-the-job experience this summer, thanks to federal and state funded programs administered by the Union County Department of Human Services.   The programs focus on helping young people develop resume-ready work skills, along with learning the basics of personal finance and banking.

“These programs can make all the difference in helping a young person develop the know-how and confidence to start a career and make positive contributions to the community as they grow into adulthood,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

The two programs are the Summer Youth Employment Program, and Help Employ Area Teens.  Together, they are designed to improve long term career prospects for persons age 14 to 25 who have dropped out of school, are at risk of dropping out of school, or are disadvantaged.

“Some of our summer participants are returning to high school or continuing their education at Union County College.  We have participants going on to Rutgers, and one is even attending Harvard,” said Alexander Mirabella, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, who also noted that several employers have asked participants to stay on past the summer.

To match summer employment participants with employers, the Union County One-Stop Career Centers provided pre-screening services for UPS, Fed-Ex, Great Adventure Six Flags, the Jersey Gardens Mall, Newark Liberty International Airport.

Small retail stores, public schools and physicians’ offices also participated in the program, as well as the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center, the Rahway public works department, Jefferson Park Ministries, Union Township Action Organization, Rahway Community Action Organization, and the Urban League of Greater Union County.

Salaries ranged from $7.25 per hour, the state minimum wage, to $15.00 per hour.

Union County’s One-Stop Career Centers in Elizabeth and Plainfield offer a wide variety of services, free of charge, to job seekers of all ages, along with services for employers and entrepreneurs.

The Elizabeth One-Stop Career Center at 921 Elizabeth Avenue serves residents of Elizabeth, Hillside, Kenilworth, Linden, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, Union, and Winfield.  For information call 908-558-8000.

The Plainfield One-Stop Career Center at 200 West Second Street serves residents of Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Plainfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains, Summit, and Westfield.  For information call 908-757-9090.