WITH THE DISTRICT public schools closing out their regular year this week, the community's important effort to find jobs for the 50,000 or so teenagers who want them is coming down to the wire. For each of these youngsters, the responses of the government, Congress and the private sector will determine whether it will be a bleak, aimless summer or a season with some structure and a sense of accomplishment. So what more remains to be done?
There is the critical matter of securing congressional approval of the city's proposal to provide about 8,500 summer jobs for youngsters and 1,500 yearround jobs for youths as well as adults. Time pressures being what they are, the formal procedures for these budget approvals on Capitol Hill may come too late to help the city; but they needn't ruin the summer job efforts. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt) and Rep. Charles Wilson (D-Tex), who are chairmen of the two subcommittees considering the proposal, could do a great service for their colleagues as well as this city's citizens if they would get together, reach an informal agreement on the jobs proposal and signal the city government that hiring could proceed.
In the meantime, the call to private businesses - large and small - is still on. Officials at the city's jobs centers in the D.C. Department of Labor reported late Friday that their telephone line (724-5544) was continuing to produce new offers from offices, shops and business groups that either had not participated previously or had come up with one or two additional openings.
City administrator Elijah B. Rogers, who continues to cite the summer jobs effort as Mayor Barry's top priority right now, points out that the city is looking beyond the business community to other institutions for job offers. For example, there are universities and colleges in the area that may not have turned in ten working to assist the teen-agers. In addition to heir libraries and offices or for other jobs in maintenance or food services.
Washington's unions, too, have been working to assist the teen - agers. In addition to soliciting jobs for them from employers with whom the unions have collective bargaining agreements, many unions have taken on youngsters for work in various fields. For example, there is a "Unions for Youth" program conducted with help from the National Football League players' union that provides a two-week camp session with job testing and training. This year, an estimated 600 youths are expected to attend.
These efforts by government, business, labor and individual citizens to provide summer work for the teen-agers of Washington are more than mere "do-gooder" projects. They produce dividends for the employers - local talent, ready to learn, perform, advance and become productive citizens who can strengthen the ties between employers and the four corners of the community.But this is the week it all has to come together.