Summer-work program helps area youths

By WEEK Reporter

July 16, 2013 Updated Jul 16, 2013 at 10:19 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth met with Peoria community leaders Tuesday morning to discuss a summer program for area youth.

The Tri-County Urban League's summer-work program started on July 1 with help from city leaders and district representatives.

The program focuses on getting youths off the streets during the summer months.

Representative Gordon-Booth says state budget cuts threatened this year's program, but was revived through some last minute funding.

"The dollars are actually coming out of the DCEO budget, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,” said Rep. Gordon-Booth. “We have communities with opportunities for young people to work. I saw the opportunity, and I went after it."

"Part time job means you are not in the streets,” said Carl Cannon, founder of E.L.I.T.E. Youth Outreach Program. “You're not in those alleys where bad can occur. If we can get them to occupy that time in a healthy way, if we can get them to work, then they would be able to put their head on a pillow at night."

E.L.I.T.E. is working hand and hand with the Tri-County Urban League to prepare the students for interviews.

Organizers hope the 80 students in the program will have jobs by the end of the week.