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Youthworks looking forward to minimum wage increase

Posted: 10:50 PM, Jan 03, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-03 23:16:50-05

BALTIMORE — Minimum wage is up by about a dollar across the state.

It's part of a gradual climb to $15 an hour by 2025.

Youthworks helped over 8,600 teenagers get summer jobs in 2016.

People from ages 14-21 went from the information tables and interviews to dentist office’s, local restaurants, and summer camps and more.

Jason Perkins Cohen is the Director of Employment Development for the Mayor’s Office that runs YouthWorks.

“They get a chance to start to experience the work world,” said Perkins Cohen. “Get really valuable experience, get used to having a supervisor and start to test out some of the things they might want to do beyond the summer.”

Minimum wage just went up from $10.10 to $11 on January 1.

Perkins-Cohen said employers involved in Youthworks haven't expressed concerns about the steady increase in the past.

“I don’t think the minimum wage is going to hurt us, I think it provides valuable resources that help promote our economy,” Perkins-Cohen said. “The money that young people earn is put right back into our economy by purchasing school supplies and uniforms and other necessities.”

Through Youthworks they work 25 hours a week for five weeks.

The minimum wage was is now at $11 so 125 times 11 about $1,375 over the five weeks.

For reference Rent Cafe has the average rent in Baltimore city around $1,200.

“Youthworks typically has about 40 percent of the young adults they serve are on public assistance or their families are on public assistance so it’s really important and vital resources,” Perkins-Cohen said.

In just the first day more than 1,500 applicants have applied online.

“When you’re 14 years old for the most part you’re too old for most summer camps and for the most part you’re too young for most jobs,” Perkins-Cohen said. “YouthWorks really fills that gap for the 14-15-year old in particular. Even if you’re older it’s a tough job market out there.”

To learn more about Youthworks or to sign up to be a donor, worker, or employer click here.