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Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Pushes Youth Summer Jobs

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced a new website aimed at helping young Americans aged 16 to 24 to obtain summer jobs. The website is www.dol.gov/summerjobs.

Historically, the month of July is when youth employment peaks. According to Solis, the youth unemployment rate last year was at its lowest since 1948, at 19.1 percent.

More than 4 million young people were looking for work, she added.

The number of colored youth was higher, she said. The unemployment rate for young Hispanics is 22.1 percent. For African-Americans it is 33.4 percent, and for Asians it is 21.6 percent.

Recovery Act funds were available in 2009-10 to create summer jobs, but those funds have dried up.

Solis recruited the help of elected officials, private corporations and nonprofits to facilitate summer jobs programs.

On board are John Stumpf, chairman, president and CEO at Wells Fargo Co.; Betty Amend, vice president for human resources at UPS; Bill Warren, executive director of DirectEmployers Association; and Susan Miller, corporate recruiting manager at Qwest Communications.

Stumpf announced that Wells Fargo will hire 1,000 college and MBA students to work at banks across the country for summer employment.

Amend said UPS will hire 1,500 people for summer jobs in 71 locations around the country.

A Toyota representative said it was tempting to cut out summer recruitment considering conditions in Japan, but decided to go forward.

Solis said she also has the support of 26 mayors across the United States, including the mayors of Colombus, Ohio, and Boston.