Dozens of economically disadvantaged teens are waiting for work this summer in Lawrence as financing for a federal jobs program awaits congressional action.
"I probably have 60 more kids who are waiting for jobs," said Lou Ann Scott, employment marketing representative for the Private Industry Council Inc. in Lawrence. "These poor kids are out, waiting until we get more money."
Sixteen Lawrence teens already have been placed in summer jobs as part of the program, which is financed through the Job Training Partnership Act. Workers are paid the federal minimum wage of $4.25 an hour.
The teens, ages 14 to 21, will spend eight weeks cleaning windows, planting shrubs, typing letters and filing books in various city and social-service agencies, Scott said. Work begins Monday.
Last summer, more than 40 youths participated in the Lawrence program. Scott said this year's program might get more financing by mid-summer, depending on how President Clinton's proposals fare in Congress.
Clinton's previously defeated jobs bill contained $320 million for creating jobs for disadvantaged youth.
"We're ready to place more kids as soon as we get more money," she said.
The jobs -- in local day care centers, the Watkins Community Museum, the Lawrence Fire Department, the city's parks and recreation department, local Boys and Girls Club and Haskell Indian Junior College -- will teach teens about money management and job responsibility, Scott said.
"And it gets them spending money," Scott said. "A lot of them save their money, and buy their own clothes, so it helps their families out."
Eight youths in Franklin County and six in Jefferson County also will begin work Monday, Scott said.