President Nixon announced Wednesday that he will make $424 million available to provide summer jobs for young people this year.
Most of the funds--$300 million--will come from the Emergency Employment Assistance Act (EEAA), a $1.25 billion program which provides year-round public service employment for adults.
Nixon said that local officials will determine whether to spend the EEAA funds on jobs for adults or for youths.
The proposal is an attempt to compensate for the phasing out of the Neighborhood Youth Corps. The loss of this program will cost Cambridge about 600 jobs for young people this summer, Pat Cusick, deputy executive director of the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, said yesterday.
Cusick said that the option of using EEAA funds for youth employment represents "a vicious shell game" and "a politically untenable choice for City government."
Sen. Jacob Javits (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that, under this proposal, "cities are left with the Hobson's choice of firing the father in order to hire the son."
The Cambridge City Council allocated $16,120 Monday for the new Cambridge Jobs for Youth Program. Tony Sapienza, director of the new program, said yesterday, "Certainly I hope that [the Cambridge Jobs for Youth] can offset a cutback in the Neighborhood Youth Corps. However, I think that's a tall order."
Cusick emphasized that the Jobs for Youth Program will be trying to match young people with job opportunities in private industry, rather than directly supplying wages and work for youth. "Trying to develop jobs for kids in private industry is almost impossible," he added.