Local group combats teen unemployment in the Lower Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local group combats teen unemployment in the Lower Valley

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YAKIMA, Wash- Washington has one of the highest teen unemployment rates in the country. About 33 percent of people ages 16-19 are out of work according to the Employment Policies Institute. Compared with the statewide unemployment rate 9.3 percent for adults there is a huge gap. 

However the Northwest Community Action Center is recruiting for a program that could help Lower Valley teens find work and continue with school.  Staff with the Academic Youth Employment Program say that in times of high adult unemployment people often forget that some young people don't just work for pocket money, they work for survival.

"Food, transportation costs, housing costs, medical costs, we're seeing more and more that students need to work to assist with their families in day to day survival.", says Mike Perry of the Northwest Community Action Center.

The Academic Youth Employment Program helps students graduate while providing skills training and helping them find jobs. People between the ages of 14 to 19 living between Wapato and Grandview are eligible to apply.  There is no application deadline but space in the program is limited.  You can turn application in at Northwest Community Action Center in Toppenish (706 Rentschler Lane Toppenish, WA 98948) or WorkSource Sunnyside (1925 Morgan Road Sunnyside, WA 98944).