Rockford Park District employ 100 at-risk youth this summer

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Park District announced Friday that it had received $500,000 from the Illinois Department of Human Services to employ 100 area youth over the next three months.

The Park District says the COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program (C-SYEP) was formed due to the devastating impact of coronavirus on the Illinois economy and challenges it poses to young people, particularly at-risk youth between 16-24.

The funds were made due to a connection made by Rep. Maurice West (D-67th), the park district said in a statement.

“Prevention is key and an opportunity like this can change someone’s life and hopefully lead to a career in the Rockford Park District. We are excited to be one of three agencies to be chosen to take part in this pilot program and can’t thank Representative West enough for advocating for us and valuing the importance of parks and recreation. Play is essential,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine.

Youth workers who enroll in the C-SYEP program will develop “essential employability skills and earn a minimum of 180 hours of entry-level work experience.”

Information on how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks, the park district said.

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