NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on youth employment.

Gov. Ned Lamont held a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss that, at the Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven.

Lamont announced that the state will release $2 million from the Coronavirus Relief Funds to expand the Connecticut Youth Employment Program.

It's in an effort to help teens fine employment opportunities, year-round.

In New Haven alone, the initiative will help several hundreds teenagers earn a paycheck.

"This is part of how we give them the confidence as they get back into this COVID world, give them the confidence as they are out there earning a paycheck and socializing with people in a safe way, primarily an outdoors way," Lamont said on Tuesday.

The program will include jobs that range from cleaning up parks to helping the elderly.

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