Increased funding from the state may help more young people in Illinois find a job this summer. The state has summer employment programs for teenagers and young adults, but according to Illinois Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Beth Penesis, her department and others can’t meet the demand for jobs. “I’m excited about the work that we’ve done, but very sad that some of the good applications we’re not going to be able to honor,” Penesis said.
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State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has held several hearings on youth unemployment around the state, and says the governor is addressing the problem. “So he’s adding an additional $5 million, so now we have a total of $20 million in the proposed budget for youth employment,” Hunter said. But Hunter says young people are still struggling to find year-round jobs because older workers are competing for those same positions.