2009 Coolspring-Goodwill Breaking Barriers Summer Green Jobs Program

[Note: This was received as a comment on an unrelated article.]

What: Create the 2009 Coolspring-Goodwill Breaking Barriers Summer Green Jobs Program for 100 kids between the ages of 14 and 24 from low-income families (annual income is less than $23,000 for a family of four). It will be a 10-week Summer Jobs Program to begin July 1 and end on September 1. All the wages will be paid even while the “child-enrollee” is attending “work-skills sessions,” so most of the grant money will be spent on the kids’ wages. The total budget for this Sussex County program may be close to $600,000. (A large part of the budget will pay the wages for the 100 kids offering about 300 hours in the summer working in a “green job.” )

Who: Jim Martin, program coordinator. Phone: 302-827-2609 or my cell# 215-740-4622 or email: green1980580@yahoo.com I am invested in making a difference in the lives of people and families in need. For the last year I have been the Southern Delaware Housing Chairman for Oxford House, a national residential addiction recovery program that has met with great success in Sussex County. Because the program has helped people turn their lives around, I am working to expand the Oxford House homes in Kent and Sussex County. I established a new Oxford House program in Lewes. I am also an active member of Coolspring Presbyterian Church in Lewes. I am also a self-employed insurance agent fully licensed in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Recently, I was recently appointed to serve as the Sussex County Ambassador for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.

Who is helping to form this special Green Jobs Initiative: So far, Coolspring Presbyterian Church, Goodwill Industries, The Children’s Beach House, Cape Henlopen School District, the Richard Allen Alternative School are stepping up to help form this Summer Jobs program for Sussex County.

When: Summer Jobs Program to begin July 1 and end on September 1.
• On April 8, we must present our proposal to the Delaware Workforce Investment Board (DWIB).
• April 30 Best and Final Offer is Due
• There is a sum of $1.9 million now available from DWIB to be used in the summer months of 2009, but the funds must be returned to the federal government unless used for a Summer Jobs Program.

How: Wages (federal minimum wage) for these jobs to be paid for by Federal Stimulus Funds. Steps:
• If we partner with each other for our kids, then the grant money award will be much easier to get.
• We need volunteers to help us with the administration.
• To enroll 100 kids in the Summer Jobs program, we will need to interview about 300 kids.
• Once we enroll the kids, we will need to find appropriate work sites where the kids can provide their labor. Preliminary talks indicate “green jobs” can be found at a variety of Sussex County work sites.
• Green jobs would be planting trees, cleaning up parks, planting gardens, doing conservation projects, job shadowing with solar panel installers, working in energy efficiency projects at the chicken plants, partnering with the “Doing Something Wild” programs at the various Delaware Wildlife Monitoring Projects.

Where: Some potential work sites/partners:
• Cape Henlopen State Park
• Various public works projects overseen by local town officials
• Beaches where replanting beach grasses is needed
• Employers who want to spruce up their landscaping areas, lower their energy bills, etc.

Why: It’s an investment in the future for all of us.
• These low-income kids and families can really use the money.
• 100 “at risk” kids may stay out of trouble (who knows how much money this will save our taxpayers).
• Area youth will build up their resumes and get some valuable work experience.
• It will be good for our environment and can be a good example for future similar programs.
• This can be a win-win for everybody!

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