Holt highlights summer jobs funded thru ARRA

EAST BRUNSWICK — Congressman Rush Holt (D-12) joined Middlesex County officials and area youth Monday to highlight a summer jobs program funded through the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The program is employing students to work on a variety of projects throughout the county. Holt visited the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High Schools’ Rues Lane campus, where students are doing maintenance of classrooms and outdoor landscaping in advance of the school year. Middlesex County received $884,000 for its summer jobs program.

Nationally, there is $1.2 billion for the program. New Jersey received $20.8 million, creating an estimated 4,000 jobs.

“In this struggling economy, jobs are hard to come by for everyone, including young adults,” Holt said. “We cannot afford to have an entire generation missing out on the many lessons learned from a summer job.”

Joining Holt were Middlesex County Workforce Investment Board Director Jane Brady, Freeholder Christopher Rafano and the school Principal Jeffrey Bicsko. They met with six students hired under the program — two each from Sayreville and East Brunswick, and one each from Monroe and South Amboy.

The program employs nearly 300 local youths using the ARRA funds. The positions are with local and county governments, as well as some nonprofit groups, county officials said.

“This is a smart investment, one that provides young New Jerseyans with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and on-the-job training, while earning money throughout the summer,” Holt said. “Our economy will benefit from this in the years to come.”