The City of Hardy is benefitting from money from the Recovery Act. Mayor Nina Thornton said that a representative contacted her with NADC about the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) summer workers possibly becoming employed by the city. Thornton said she was thrilled to have them and was surprised other cities haven't followed suit.
In a memo sent by Connie Jackson with the Batesville NADC office, she says that $1.2 billion has been allocated federally by the Recovery Act as funds for youth activities with the priority going for summer employment opportunities. The goal of these employment opportunities is to stimulate the economy.
The memo says that the program encourages states and local employers to implement these Summer Employment Programs to help as many youth as possible gain work experience and opportunities.
The major change for the WIA program in 2009 is the increase in age eligibility to 24-year-old, rather than the previous age of 18.
Jackson said employment lasts from May 1 through Sept. 30. She said the potential employees must be WIA eligible and are paid $8 an hour for 40 hours per week. Jackson said youth are placed in both public and private employment. She says that currently there are 350 youth working in the North Central Region which serves a 10 county area.
The three young men who are working for the WIA Summer Program in Hardy have been working very well with city officials and have painted the gazebo and restrooms in Dr. Audrey Thompson Park, worked in Loberg Park and at the Hardy Gym. Thornton says the only thing required of the city in regard to allowing the young men to work is that the youth must be supervised.