Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, along with the Erie County Council, the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA), the Erie Community Foundation, and the Venango Training and Development Center discussed the Summer Jobs and More (JAM) program and presented an inaugural report on Friday, October 17, 2014 at the Erie County Courthouse.
Nearly fifty percent of young adults under the age of 18 in Erie County live in poverty. In an effort to address the concerns plaguing local youth, government officials, nonprofit leaders, and the private sector joined resources to increase opportunities for the students in February 2014.
In the summer of 2014, the first Summer JAM was launched with support from over thirty employers and over 120 eligible applicants age 16-21 from Erie County and the City of Erie.
The success of the pilot program paved the way for continued expansion in 2015.
"The Summer JAM program is not a remedy for the social issues that challenge our youth, however; it is a step forward and will serve as a prototype for future endeavors," commented Dahlkemper.
Speakers for the conference included: County Executive Dahlkemper, Erie County Councilman André Horton, Perry Wood - Executive Director of ECGRA, Michael Batchelor - President of the Erie Community Foundation, Markisha Reid - Student Team Leader, and Josh Dyne of Dynasty Construction.
The 122 participants in this program are prepared with the skills and abilities to obtain a job next summer and have set an example for more youth to pursue employment.
Click here to view the report.