DATE: October 24, 2000      NO: 01-19

CONTACT:  Elaine Andaloro  Phone: (907)451-3110

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

News Release

Youth Grant Money Available for Northern Alaska

Labor Department Funds to Help Northern Alaska’s At-Risk Youth

Young Alaskans in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Northern Alaska having trouble completing high school or finding or keeping a job will benefit from a new wave of federal training and employment funds now available through the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department released a request for proposals on October 20 with a deadline of December 1, 2000 for completed applications to provide in and out of school youth employment, education, and job training services.

Approximately $225,000 is available for services to youth (ages 14-21) in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and approximately $60,000 for youth in the remainder of the Interior and the North Slope Borough. "This funding will help young people in Northern Alaska who have either dropped out of high school, have gotten a diploma and are looking for work, or are still in high school and need additional assistance in order to be successful in school," Labor Commissioner Ed Flanagan said. These grants are part of a national and statewide focus for designing and reinforcing year-round community youth services and resources leading to academic and job success.

"We want to prepare young people for the day when they’ll be supporting themselves and possibly a family," added Flanagan. Services usually funded include academic, occupational, vocational, work readiness, and life skills training to give youth the right credentials to become valuable members of Alaska’s workforce and economy. Agencies awarded youth grants in the past include the Literacy Council of Alaska. Youth ages 14-21 were hired to tutor younger elementary aged children in reading and math during the summer months, and periodically throughout the school year. Former tutors have gone on to become teachers and social workers.

Traditionally, federal grant money was separately available for summer youth programs, but under the new Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (public law 105-220) all youth grant money is combined for annual distribution and linked to academic and occupational outcomes. The goal is to create educational and job incentives to help youth become self-sufficient in their chosen careers.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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