SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Training a generation of young workers for jobs in the green sector and the health industry can help lead the country out of chronically high unemployment, Rep. Barbara Lee said Friday.

Lee toured the Job Corps program on Treasure Island as economists tried to make sense out of a .4 percent drop in unemployment amid job creation that was nearly flat.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

“This is a program that’s for real, and it really has something for our young people,” Lee said.

The program enrolls more than 300 low-income youth ages 16 to 24 every year, and 90 percent either find a job or go on to college, according to program director David Miller.

“Our job is to provide students with the academic, vocational and social skills required to get and keep a good job,” he said.

Students can learn also learn construction and culinary arts. Teenagers typically work towards a high school diploma. In the case of Antoine Harris, the residential program led to an internship with Lee’s office.

“Being in here opened my mind to a better world, what can be better,” she said.

Keith Praidor said he felt like he had no prospects when he enrolled in Job Corps in 2009 after dropping out of college. Now the 20-year-old is headed to Howard University in the fall.

“I had no idea what I was going to do,” he said.

Now he wants to be a social worker, a path he said would never have occurred to him before the program.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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