This story comes to us from NBC Latino.
The White House announced a program on Thursday to help create up to 250,000 jobs for low-income and minority youth in 2012 by eliciting commitments from corporate partners as well as a newly created online job bank being worked on by Google, LinkedIn and others.
The program will help Hispanic youths who had a higher than the national average unemployment rate (at 20 percent) in July – a time when unemployment traditionally goes down due to summer jobs.
“There’s no replacement for the dignity that comes from earning a youth’s first paycheck,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who talked about her positive experiences as a product of summer youth improvement programs.
The thrust of the program will come in two parts. The corporate commitments from companies like AT&T, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, CVS Caremark, Deloitte and others will ensure that jobs will be there in the summer of 2012 rather than the danger of them disappearing.
AT&T pledged to create 350 jobs including through the Mayor’s Interns Fellows Program in Newark, a city that is 34 percent Latino and 52 percent black.
CVS Caremark committed to hire over 20,000 youths between the aged of 16 and 24 in 2012 as well.
The Summer Jobs + Bank is a key part of the program. Within 60 days the administration will launch a one-stop search tool for youth to access job postings. The joining of youth and jobs online will be buoyed by professional social network LinkedIn, which is allowing any company to post summer internships or entry level jobs on their network for free.
Bank of America, as part of its broader three-year $50 million goal to support education and workforce development opportunities for underserved populations, will provide 1,500 paid internships in 2012.
The fact that the administration is including commitments from companies who already had larger initiatives underway riled some Republicans who questioned how necessary is Summer Jobs +.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, suggested that the White House is merely “taking credit for programs that companies already had in place,” according to USA Today.
“A more constructive use of the White House’s time would be calling on Democratic leaders to act on the dozens of House-passed jobs bills still sitting idle in Democratic-run Senate,” Buck said.
The administration said that President Obama was moving forward with this plan because Congress failed to pass his American Jobs Act.
Adrian Carrasquillo is a reporter with NBC Latino.
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