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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 02/25/2011

D.C. summer jobs program filling up quickly

By Mike DeBonis

Attention District parents: if you want your children busy and receiving a paycheck this summer, you better hop to it.

Enrollment in the annual summer jobs program -- ahem, the "One City Summer Youth Employment Program" -- began this afternoon, and unlike in previous years, the number of participants is capped at 12,000.

Former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) accepted all comers to his summer jobs programs -- more than 20,000 -- which created management problems in 2008 and busted budgets in subsequent years. But successor Vincent C. Gray (D), for budgetary and management reasons, is promising a program "smaller and tailored more to the individual needs of youth" -- but one that stands to anger parents who get left out.

The Department of Employment Services is hosting a "midnight madness" registration event today, where kids and parents can enroll until the wee hours tonight.

By 6 p.m. today, some 4,500 city youth enrolled in the program, said DOES spokeswoman Dy Brown. She said the program is likely to be booked by Monday.

You can enroll online, or stop by the shiny new DOES headquarters tonight at 4058 Minnesota Ave. NE.

By Mike DeBonis  | February 25, 2011; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  The District, Vincent Gray  
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Comments

I still can't believe this program is not based on actually learning how to to get a job in the real world. First come first served and midnight madness sound like turkey giveaways at Thanksgiving. If taxpayer money is to be well-spent on a "jobs" program, then these kids should learn how to write resumes, go to job interviews, etc. Those who prepare the best and show the most positive attitude should get the jobs.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | February 25, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

@lipschitzantwon: I believe that is the direction the program is going. In some agencies, participants are required to attend seminars surrounding real world job skills, etc. It's there but just not a sexy topic for Dubonis to write about.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 26, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Given the many problems that have plagued this program in the past (e.g., over- subscription, lack of funds, lack of corporate sponsors, lack of direction), it will be heartening if this program even near successfully can do what it proposes. Given what we've seen of Gray's administration so far, I am not confident.

Posted by: mac4700 | February 26, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm usually pretty skeptical about this program, but attended an information session and have to say I am impressed by the changes this year.

They are actually making kids "apply", not just sign up. Plus, to get a job they are required to prove their residency in person; do an online orientation; attend an in-person training; submit a resume/self-profile; and more.

If you read the Youth/Parent Info Packet on their website (www.summerjobs.dc.gov) you'll see things are supposed to be different this year. They seem to finally be turning this into a real work training program and not just babysitting. I'll be watching to see how it goes....

Posted by: GetOuttaHere | February 26, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I am outraged that the press release by the dc gov. for this went out to media on the night of the 24th (per the DC.gov website) and that they expect all spots to be gone by Monday (a PT conference day, not a regular school day).

So basically, the kids with no internet at home or with parents not in the know, the kids most needing a summer job provided by the government, are shut out of applying.

I saw this and immediately I thought, I need to announce this to my kids (students) come Tuesday, and then saw all spots are expected to be gone by Monday. I teach in a very poverty stricken neighborhood and most of my kids do not have computers and internet at home.

Posted by: adcpsteacher | February 26, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I am outraged that the press release by the dc gov. for this went out to media on the night of the 24th (per the DC.gov website) and that they expect all spots to be gone by Monday (a PT conference day, not a regular school day).

So basically, the kids with no internet at home or with parents not in the know, the kids most needing a summer job provided by the government, are shut out of applying.

I saw this and immediately I thought, I need to announce this to my kids (students) come Tuesday, and then saw all spots are expected to be gone by Monday. I teach in a very poverty stricken neighborhood and most of my kids do not have computers and internet at home.

Posted by: adcpsteacher | February 26, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Most high schools have been announcing it all week. School administrators were told about the deadlines, etc... last week and at least at my school, they have mentioned at least twice a day that this was going on and offering help for putting together an application.

Posted by: Wyrm1 | February 26, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I heard about the program from my son. He said his teacher told him about it. I got him and my niece signed up this past Friday. Went down to the DOES building today with their documents and they were great! I think DOES is finally getting their act together.

Posted by: ChildsPlay77 | March 1, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

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