Youth workers will spend extra time on the job

LISBON -An additional $100,000 in federal funding for Columbiana County’s summer work program means 231 young people will be able to remain on the job longer.

County commissioners voted this week to accept $100,000 from Knox County after Eileen Dray-Bardon, director of the county Department of Job and Family Services, requested they do so. The $100,000 represents unspent money from Knox County’s youth employment program.

The JFS operates the county’s federally funded summer youth employment program, and Dray-Bardon learned from her counterpart in Knox County that officials there were unable to use its entire allocation. She asked if the county could have it, and Knox County commissioners agreed.

Under the county’s program, the 231 eligible youths are paid $8.50 an hour for a 40-hour work week at the 54 participating job sites. Dray-Bardon said the county’s original allocation of $442,000 was enough to employ the youths until about mid-July, with the additional $100,000 sufficient to buy them about another two weeks. She plans to seek unspent program funds from other counties.

Dray-Bardon said she knew from prior experience additional unspent funding would likely come available from other counties to help them extend the program, which is what occurred last year when Miami County sent along its $191,000 allocation.

Last year’s participants had shorter work weeks, but Dray-Bardon said they decided to increase hours to 40 hours per week in anticipation unspent money would come available from other counties.

The program employs youths ages 16 to 24 who meet the maximum-income requirements, which would be $47,100 for a household of four.