DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – City officials and residents are disappointed the state plans to defund a youth program that employs thousands of Miami Valley teenagers.
‘YouthWorks’ has existed for 17 years and has a successful track record. The program prepares 14 to 18-year-olds for the workforce.
This year might be its last. The state wants to redirect $45 million for the program to a new statewide program. The state’s program is designed to bring education and training to young people.and address issues like childcare and transportation.
During Wednesday’s city council meeting, Commissioner Chris Shaw said it’s a mistake.
“To defund it just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see a reason to change something that is working,” Shaw said.
Tuesday evening residents held a rally against the state’s plan.
“This is about young people. This about young people across the state of Ohio who deserve the opportunity to work, but more than that, they are really preparing and setting our young people up for prison,” said H.A. Jabar with the West Dayton Youth Task Force.
City officials urge residents to call their local state representative to put the funding back. You can also show your support on Twitter by using #Don’tFireOHKids.