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Gov. Deval Patrick announced Saturday that Massachusetts is investing $12 million in state funds in a program that will pay for nearly 6,000 summer job-training opportunities.
The funding for the program overseen by YouthWorks — a state-subsidized jobs initiative for at-risk youth aged 14 to 21 — is part of the state budget proposal for the 2015 financial year, Patrick said.
The investment represents a $3 million increase over the budget for the 2014 financial year.
"These jobs are essential to providing our Commonwealth's at-risk youth with a better opportunity for a brighter future, while reducing youth violence across the Commonwealth," Patrick said. "I look forward to working with our partners to ensure that YouthWorks remains fully funded this summer, so we can continue our commitment to the next generation."
Last summer, the program provided job training to 5,175 young people in 31 cities.
The YouthWorks program has grown steadily since Patrick took office, expanding from $4.7 million in the summer of 2007 to $10 million in the summer of 2013. This year's proposed funding would be the largest investment in the program's history.
Patrick's administration also announced that it will preserve funding for YouthBuild at $2 million and maintain its support for the School to Career Connective Activities program at $2.7 million. YouthBuild helps low-income residents, ages 16 to 24, earn high school diplomas or GEDs by learning job skills building affordable housing. School to Career Connecting Activities establishes a partnership between schools and businesses and provide work-based learning experiences for students.