Hundreds of job-seeking youths climaxed several days of concerned telephone calls yesterday to District officials, most of them with complaints that they had not received notices of where to report for work today.
Most of the concern was needless, according to officials at the 13 job registration centers - 12 of them in senior high schools - because most of the young men and women who called or reported to the centers are not scheduled to begin work until July 9.
About 18,500 youths are to begin summer jobs today, but 8,564 more will not begin work until July 9.
"We've been getting the calls here all day, too," said Audrey Rowe, the mayor's special assitant for youth affairs. "They [the teen-agers] are having a problem because they think they should have some notice by now telling them where they will be working. But if they aren't scheduled to start work until July 9 they wouldn't get [that notification] until next week anyway.
Some youngsters who were scheduled to start work today also did not get notification from the city by yesterday about where they were to report for work at 9 a.m. today.
"I really don't know why (one girl) hasn't got her personnel action form," said a job counselor who did not want to be identified.
"We've had a few like this today but most of the problem is with the children who start July 9 and don't understand why they haven't got any notice telling them where to work yet. When you are telling ten thousand people where to report, you are going to have some foul-ups . . . so she didn't get her form."
Lisa Shields, the 15-year-old involved in this incident, said in a telephone interview: "She The counselor) told me not to worry. But it ain't right. They said I had the job and everybody else is going to work. They can't never get nothing right."
According to Matthew Shannon, acting directr of the D.C. Labor Department, of the 18,500 teen-agers who are to report to work today, 13,500 are members of families with incomes below the poverty level. They are being paid for their summer's work through the Comprehensive Employment Training Act. (CETA).
Another 3,700 teen-agers, Shannon said, will be going to work for city government agencies today. And 1,300 youngsters will be beginning work for private companies in jobs they were referred to by the city's summer job program with the help of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade.
On July 9 8,564 jobs are scheduled to start. They will be paid for through a budget Congress is considering. But Congress has delayed action on that special appropriation request until July 10.
Mayor Marion Barry, who spoke to about 100 youngsters yesterday at a job orientation session at Langley Junior High School, told the teenagers who are scheduled to start work July 9 not to worry about losing money if Congress does not approve money for their jobs until after July 9. Barry said youngsters in those jobs would be allowed to work more than five hours a day to make up for the hours they missed because of any delay in congressional approval, assuming that Congress eventually does approve the money for the summer jobs.
Most of the jobs will last eight weeks and youths will work five hours a day for $2.90 an hour.