The Greater Washington Board of Trade said yesterday it will employ new safeguards in this summer's jobs program for youths that it believes will help cure some of the foul-ups in last year's program.
The board, which annually solicits jobs from private employers throughout the Washington area, said that last year it lined up about 11,000 jobs, but in a substantial number of cases, the employers never got the number of youths they requested. To avoid this, board officials said they will for the first time conduct a follow-up two weeks after the program starts to insure that the employers receive the number of workers they want.
Jerrily Kress, a Washington architect who is again heading the summer jobs drive, said that last year about 20 percent of the 1,500 employers who pledged jobs, never got any youth workers. She said, however, that a follow-up study by the board showed that 90 percent of the employers who did receive youths through the summer jobs programs were pleased with their workers.
A few employers complained that some of the youths were tardy, did not dress properly on the job or had a bad attitude about work, according to board spokesman Janis Langley.
Board officials said they hope to find 11,000 jobs again this year. But this time employers will also receive a slightly revised job pledge form which will inform them whom to contact if their youth workers do not show up. The board's task is to solicit job pledges from employers, but it is up to the employment service agencies in the city and the suburbs or the local chambers of commerce to refer youths to the jobs the board has lined up.
The District of Columbia expects to be able to offer only about 19,900 jobs this summer, about 2,100 fewer than in 1980. Some of the Board of Trade's anticipated 11,000 private sector jobs will comprise part of the city's list. Like the board, the city has promised to institute various reforms that it says will solve problems that have annually plagued the effort, including the fact that hundreds of youths were not paid last summer when they were supposed to be.
The Board of Trade said it had trouble finding jobs last year because of the dreary economic picture in the Washington area. But this year, Kress said, local businessmen believe the economy in general is picking up and noted that the board got 123 job pledges on Monday, the first day its telephone bank for soliciting jobs was installed.