*Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44) introduced the “Port Opportunity, Reinvestment and Training (PORT) Act” a youth summer jobs bill that establishes a grant program to help young people from disadvantaged communities find summer work at our nation’s ports – powerful engines of opportunity and jobs.
With the unofficial start of summer kicking off this Memorial Day weekend amidst soaring youth unemployment rates, many of American’s young people are faced with the daunting task of trying to find a job for the summer, particularly those from low-income families and limited resources.
“With youth unemployment at a staggering 16.2%, more than double the national rate of 7.5%, our young people are suffering disproportionately in this recovering economy,” said Congresswoman Hahn. “That is why I introduced the PORT Act, a bill that will help provide our young people with the good paying jobs they need. Our youth deserve a better start.”
Currently, over one quarter of Americans aged 16 to 19 are out of work, one of the highest rates of teen unemployment in generations. The implications of this trend are troublesome: studies have shown that teenagers who have jobs earn more later in their lives because they develop vital personal and professional skills before entering the adult workforce. The continuum of work experiences from the teen years and on, including summer and part-time jobs, builds skills, knowledge and confidence.
“Summer jobs at the ports will prepare our youth with the jobs skills and valuable experience that is essential to their career success. Our ports are not only an economic engine, but a great resource for our communities,” Hahn added.
“Our ports are essential to our nation’s economy. As such, they can provide the necessary training and experience for our young people to access high paying jobs and succeed in their careers,” said Urban Caucus Chair Congressman Fattah. “The PORT ACT presents this opportunity and undoubtedly helps our youth become productive members of society.”