BOSTON (CBS) – The City of Boston announced that it will increase funding by $4.1 million in order to provide 8,000 youth jobs and other engagement opportunities over the summer. The funding increase was made due to impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The jobs will be provided for people from 14-to-21 years old.

“Boston’s summer jobs program is one of the best opportunities for our youth to stay engaged in important life-building learning by giving them a chance to build their skills, gain confidence and have formative experiences in the workplace that we hope will make them excited for their future,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement Monday. “While this year’s summer jobs program is different due to coronavirus, our dedication to providing these important opportunities is stronger than ever.”

Walsh said the jobs program connects youth to jobs that provide “mentorship and guidance, and promote skill building and networking opportunities that create lasting pathways to success.”

The city partners with private and nonprofit groups. Organizations include Action for Boston Community Development, the Boston Private Industry Council, John Hancock’s MLK Scholars, and Youth Options Unlimited.

Because of coronavirus, many private businesses were struggling to host a youth summer job program, so Walsh boosted funding by $4.1 million, bringing funding for Youth Engagement and Employment to $11.9 million.

Walsh said summer jobs provide critical financial support for low-income families. Nearly half of youth participating in the program say they help pay one or more household bills, while one in five say they are saving for college tuition.

Participants in Boston’s Summer Jobs Program work at least 25 hours per week for six weeks and are paid Massachusetts minimum wage of $12.75 per hour.

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