Before a packed house at the Trenton County club this morning, Mayor Eric Jackson greeted City leaders, local officials and representatives from area business and non-profit sectors to kick off his Summer Youth Initiative. The Mayor was joined the co-chairs for the initiative Robert Prunetti (CEO of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce) and former Mayor Douglas Palmer to outline the program, which initially seeks to place at least 100 Trenton youth in paid summer positions with area employers – and grow from there.
Area businesses will be asked to contribute – through the MIDJersey chamber’s nonprofit MIDJersey Center for Economic Development (MIDCED) – $2,000 to sponsor a position with another area group, or to host participant’s directly for a 6-week program. Prunetti and Palmer stressed that all of the donated proceeds would go directly to covering the costs of new job. In a statement from Mayor Jackson, youth unemployment estimates for the Capital City are close to a staggering 40%. Participants in this program, with assistance from local supporting institutions like Rider University and Mercer County Community College, will be welcomed to training sessions before being placed in a summer job. “The reasons for implementing such a program are compelling” citing the “urgent need” that continues in the Capital City. Bringing together the private had public sectors, with the help from the chamber, could make the project a win for all parties.
In closing, former Mayor Palmer joked with the crowd that Mayor Jackson and other local politicians would request that all campaign contributions this year be instead diverted into the charitable program. “Some” quipped a beaming Jackson, to a huge round of laugher and applause from the enthusiastic group.
More information on how your business or non-profit can participate in the public-private partnership with the City will be available from the City of Trenton’s as well as the MIDJersey Chamber’s website shortly.