Failure to pass budget impacts summer jobs for teens - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Failure to pass budget impacts summer jobs for teens

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Teen jobs are being impacted by the failure to approve a state budget (WFSB) Teen jobs are being impacted by the failure to approve a state budget (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

It’s been 10 days Connecticut has not had a budget and the pain is being felt.

The failure to pass a budget means services for about 650,000 people are being cut.

The summer employment program has been pretty much canceled for this year, and for the teenagers, having a job is very important.

Natalie Criniti knows how important it is to have a summer job. When she was 15 she worked at Avery Beverage.

"It gave me my first job. That was something strong to say, I was working for the summer,” Criniti said. "I was talking one on one with customers, I was making soda, that was great. My second job was working at New Britain City Hall."

She is one of dozens of teens who has benefited from summer employment.

The program is run by Human Resources Agency of New Britain, and 150 kids who come from low-income families in New Britain and Bristol are given summer jobs.

"There are new teens coming into the program and there are returning teens. It was the returning teens who felt it the most because they felt the value of this. Some were earning money to continue their education but others are helping out the family budget,” said Carol Dickman, of Human Resources Agency of New Britain.

A summer job gives teens a chance to learn a skill, maybe even choose a career, and for some, it keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.

The inability of lawmakers to agree on a state budget has come with serious consequences.

The state is being run on a bare bones budget month to month, that's meant a $250,000 cut to the summer job program, which has been canceled indefinitely.

Criniti is now going to college and this summer she is an intern for the very agency that helped her.

She finds it disappointing that other teens won't get the same opportunities.

"A lot of these jobs if you do well and they like you - they will hire you, it’s important for a student to have a job,” she said.

The summer employment program was supposed to start next week but right now it’s not going to happen.

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