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Public Works & Assets Newsroom

Summer Jobs Program Focused On Clearing Neglected Properties Ends With Success

Friday September 24, 2010

Young adult participants cleared more than 1,500 lots while earning a paycheck A new partnership between Metro Public Works and the WorkNow Kentucky summer jobs program came to a successful end last Friday with the completion of this year’s program.

More than 90 young adult workers, ranging in age from 18 to 24, gained job experience and earned a steady paycheck this summer, while helping the city tackle maintenance on a mounting list of overgrown and abandoned lots.

The youth workers mowed and cleaned 1, 544 individual properties city-wide during the program, which began July 6 and ended September 17. Crews also cleaned up 33 via duct areas on roadways, cut grass and picked up litter over a three mile area that included the bike trail along Beargrass Creek, the Riverwalk and the Portland Wharf.

“I’ve heard nothing but praise for the young men and women who were involved in this program and the excellent job they did this summer,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “I’m glad we created the opportunity to put these young adults to work and helped ease the on-going problem of maintaining abandoned and neglected properties in Louisville.”

The WorkNow Kentucky summer jobs program is funded regionally by $3.75 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program dollars through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The program is administered through KentuckianaWorks, the Workforce Investment Board for the Greater Louisville region.

“I am proud that this Recovery Act investment in Louisville created real jobs and real results throughout our community, putting young people to work immediately and helping keep our neighborhoods clean and safe,” said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3).

“It has become harder for teenagers, especially those from low-income households, to land a job. We’re fortunate to have such strong support from Mayor Abramson, Metro Council, Congressman Yarmuth and Governor Beshear, in providing this life-changing opportunity for our young adults—while at the same time—benefitting our community,” said Michael B. Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks.

Abramson requested an additional $360,000 in funding through the Louisville Metro Council to allow Metro Government to serve as a partner in the program.

The properties targeted for cleanup and mowing this summer had been cited by the city’s Inspections, Permits and Licensing Department. They had already moved through the legal process and had been released for cleanup to Metro Public Works.