The Tragic Loss of the Summer Jobs Program: Why it is Time to Reinstate!

For more than three decades, the federal summer jobs program served as the portal to early work exposure for youth who had limited access to the labor market, limited horizons, and limited knowledge about the vast range of career opportunities. The federal summer jobs program provided that exposure for over a half million low-income youth each year in the late 1990s until it came to an end almost seven years ago with the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. In light of the peril facing so many of our youth in high-poverty communities, as well as the disparities in education and labor market outcomes for youth from these communities, there are compelling reasons for re-instituting the federal investment in summer jobs.

To learn more, read this journal article by Linda Harris.