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Stimulus jobs hard to fill

In a down economy, you’d think young people would be fighting for jobs. But in Oak Harbor, that’s far from the case.

The first Oak Harbor stimulus-funded employee reported to duty Tuesday, but the city still has 18 positions available, paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Mayor Jim Slowik made a public plea to local youth to apply for the temporary summer jobs during his closing remarks at a recent City Council meeting.

To date, only two of the 20 temporary summer jobs are filled.

“Many of the applicants don’t qualify, or they’re not interested in that type of work,” said Gerri Garcia of WorkSource Whidbey. “We’ve kind of been struggling.”

Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 24, live in Island County, have a current Washington state driver’s license and meet specific low-income requirements.

WorkSouce advertised the positions in the classified section, but many respondents lacked a valid driver’s license or didn’t like the job description, she said.

“It’s coming slowly, but we’re moving,” she said of filling the vacant positions.

Oak Harbor needs 18 young adults to work in the parks, marina and engineering departments, including tasks that range from mapping and survey work to maintenance and repairs.

For more information, call Gerri Garcia at 279-4990, or email ggarcia@nwpic.bellingham.wa.us.

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