(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation that would create 450,000 temporary jobs and training opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth across the country. Murray’s bill, the "Youth Jobs Act of 2010," would provide $1.5 billion through the Workforce Investment Act to stimulate local economies by building on and expanding the highly successful Recovery Act youth employment program.

“This bill will expand and extend the extremely successful summer jobs program that has created hundreds of thousands of jobs, provided a boost to the economy, and changed the lives of so many young people around the country,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This bill helps families, communities, and businesses by providing jobs and training to the at-risk young people who need it most.”

“I applaud Senator Murray for introducing this legislation,” Governor Chris Gregoire said. “Washington saw immeasurable results with our Summer Youth Program. We provided thousands of disadvantaged kids with summer employment, at a time when finding a job was extremely tough. This benefited our youths, as well as their communities and our economy.”

Senator Murray fought to include $1.2 billion for summer jobs programs in the Recovery Act. This successful program put over 300,000 young people to work across the country stimulated local economies, and provided at-risk youth with skills and training to succeed in the workforce.

“It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me,” says Ryan Gookstetter, a student who participated in the summer jobs program in Seattle.  Ryan became one of 90 young people in last summer’s SoDo Inc. program, a partnership between YouthSource and South Seattle Community College. Ryan’s internship was at Washington Chain, a maritime supply company in SoDo. Bert Cehovet, VP of finance, says the company was fortunate to find Ryan. “He’s been willing to do just about everything we’ve asked him,” he says.

 “I am going to start college. Through my Work Experience at North by Northwest I learned that there are many options for a career. I wanted to be an actor but now I want to learn more about working behind the camera,” said Nick, a student who participated in the summer jobs program through the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council.

Murray is a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Chairman of the HELP Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, as well as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.