'We Can't Wait' for Summer Jobs with No Paychecks

The White House said yesterday that it had secured nearly 300,000 summer jobs for youths through its Summer Jobs+ program.

Commitments from 95 companies and non-profits, three cities, two federal agencies and the White House comprise 110,000 new positions for "low-income and disconnected youth" out of that total.

“The Summer Jobs+ Bank and the growing list of organizations stepping up to answer the President's challenge are important to maintaining our commitment to the next generation of the American workforce,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “There's no replacement for the dignity that comes with earning your first paycheck, and whether young people are looking for a job at the retail store around the corner-or at a national park states away-they now have one place to start their search.”

Out of the 300,000 positions in the Summer Jobs+ initiative, though, only 90,000 are paid jobs and the rest are mentorships, internships and other training opportunities.

Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco signed up as Summer Jobs+ Cities to partner with the administration on the program. Mayor Michael A. Nutter is asking Philadelphians to sign on as donors to help reach the summer jobs goal.

The White House also launched the Summer Jobs+ Bank online search tool. “In January, we called on the private and public sectors to help us address record unemployment among America’s youth," President Obama said yesterday. "Today, we are proud to announce that cities, federal agencies, non-profits, and companies from across the country have come together to provide hundreds of thousands of summer jobs and employment opportunities for our young people."

He's billing it as the latest "We Can't Wait" initiative.