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Recovery Act funds jobs in Oak Harbor

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will soon grace the Oak Harbor community with a number of young workers.

This summer, Oak Harbor plans to hire 20 youth to work in the parks, marina and engineering departments. The temporary summer help is possible through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also called the ARRA.

According to www.recovery.gov, the act will create or save 75,000 jobs for Washington state residents over the next two years.

Sen. Patty Murray made a personal call to Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik to inform him of the good news, which allows the city to use ARRA funds through the Washington State Department of Employment Security.

The City Council approved an agreement with the Northwest Workforce Council Tuesday night, which allows the city to employ the 20 youth for minimum wage through the end of September.

Geri Garcia of WorkSource in Oak Harbor described the ARRA-funded jobs as seven-week internships designed to build job readiness skills and add work experience to the resumes of the employees, who will be low-income, young people ages 16 to 24.

Harbormaster Mack Funk said he’ll have his share of the temporary work crew cleaning the docks and restrooms, painting and doing other maintenance projects.

One condition of the city’s agreement with the Northwest Workforce Council requires that the temporary youth employees cannot trump existing work contracts. The marina’s plan to hire two adult seasonal workers for this summer is still in place, Funk said.

The Engineering Department will have two of the temporary hires doing mapping and survey work, said Eric Johnston, city engineer.

About 15 interns will learn about the Parks Department through landscaping, irrigation installation, litter control, playground restoration and minor building projects, according to Cathy Rosen, public works director.

For more information, contact WorkSource, 675-5966, or visit 31975 Highway 20, Oak Harbor.

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