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Essex National Heritage Commission gets grant to fund youth jobs

Posted by Justin Rice  March 28, 2012 07:00 PM

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TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, recently donated $5,000 to benefit the Essex National Heritage Commission’s Youth Summer Jobs program.

The grant will allow for the hiring of three additional under-served youth to start working throughout the two National Park sites in Salem and Saugus.

“Connecting youth to our local heritage and national parks is a top priority for Essex Heritage and the National Park Service,” Executive Director of Essex National Heritage Commission Annie C. Harris said in a statement. “And we are thrilled to receive this grant from TD

Charitable Foundation to hire additional youth who will engage in educational and enrichment programs, while gaining valuable employment experience and life and leadership skills. This program is a successful example of the benefits of public-private partnerships.”

The Youth Summer Job Corps program is directed towards youth ages 14-18, many of whom are undertaking their first job. They work for 8 to 12 weeks in the summer under the supervision of NPS staff. The youth rotate through a variety of jobs including maintenance, administration, visitor services and interpretation.

They are also given assistance on how to prepare for work, workplace expectations, resume preparation and career development. When funding allows, several of the older youths whom are employed during the summer continue to work during the fall tourist season.

“Youth who excel in this program are hired as National Park Service employees and brought back to work season after season,” Superintendent of Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites Michael Quijano-West said in a statement.  

“This grant funding enables us to hire three additional youth who will now be able to explore our national heritage and work alongside our rangers and staff this summer. This program provides essential job skills for youth and will help cultivate the next generation of stewards for our country’s natural and cultural resources.”

The Youth Summer Job Corps program began in partnership with the North Shore Work Force Investment Board with federal stimulus grant funding. The program is sustained by funding through the National Park Service along with investments by Essex Heritage.

 “A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy,” President of TD Bank Daniel Griggs said in a statement.

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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