THIS MAY NOT be the stuff of which red-hot exposes are made, but we can report right here and now that there are young people in this city who not only have found summer jobs through the District government's program this year -- but have reported to the right places, have been given work and are doing it. What's more, they have been led to believe that they will be paid accordingly, on time, next week. Still others, who ran into confused signals on opening day last week, are said to be falling into gainful activity -- and this, if it keeps up, will certainly be news as well as music to the ears of all who suffered the summer snafus of previous years.
We're glad to learn, too, that contrary to some early reports last week, the U.S. Labor Department is not "investigating" the District's program, nor were any extraordinary measures ever ordered. The local program is subject to the same routine monitoring as every other program of its kind around the country, according to the office of Labor Secretary Ray Donovan, and there's still a good bit of summer to go.
More local details are scheduled to be made public by the D.C. Department of Employment Services today, and they may well include follow-up reports on various shaky starts during the program's opening days. In some instances, young people apparently signed up for jobs months ago, found other work in the meantime and did not notify those making the city's assignments.
It should go without saying that an efficient, successful program of job assignments and supervision can do so much to set the right example for young people entering the work force around the city -- just as the chaotic efforts in past years disillusioned so many initially upbeat participants in the program.
We will continue to watch the summer jobs program with intense interest and every strong hope that it will be a success -- because we consider this effort a vital complement to the city's public school system and because the participants can ill afford another breakdown. When young people can see a genuine, productive connection between education and the rewards of good work in the marketplace, there is cause for that much more optimism about the city's future. That is why the city government should spare no effort in making that happen.