White House 'Can't Wait' To Help Young People Get Summer Jobs

Mary Bruce
January 5, 2012


President Obama will continue his campaign to bypass Congressional opposition to his jobs agenda Thursday by announcing a new partnership aimed at helping a quarter of a million young people find summer jobs.

The initiative, part of Obama's "We Can't Wait" campaign, is intended to replace a youth jobs fund that would have been enacted had Congress passed the president's $447 billion jobs bill.

"America's young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they've got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It's important for their future, and for America's. That's why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act - a plan that Congress failed to pass. America's youth can't wait for Congress to act. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment," Obama said in a written statement.

The new partnership between the federal government and the private sector commits to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer.

Republicans have pushed back against the announcement.

"Everyone agrees internships are a helpful tool for youth, particularly in this economy. Yet rather than taking credit for programs that companies already had in place, 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," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.