Murray Delivers $428,000 to Help High School Students Prepare for the Workforce

Feb 24 2009

Funding will support the In-Demand Scholars Program, which helps students get career experience through job shadowing, internships, and scholarships

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $428,000 for the Washington Workforce Association’s In-Demand Scholars Program in a yearly Senate spending bill.  The program helps high school students learn about in-demand and emerging careers in their communities through job shadowing, internships, and scholarships.  The experience will help make those students more competitive and more successful when they enter the workforce. 

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray included the funding in the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations portion of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for most federal government programs and targeted community projects for Fiscal Year 2009.  The Omnibus bill is separate from the Economic Recovery bill passed by Congress and enacted by President Obama last week.

“As the recession deepens, it’s even more important that our young people get a chance to learn about the promising careers that are available in their communities – and how to get the skills and education they need to pursue them,” Senator Murray said.  “Teens with job experience are more competitive when they enter the workforce as adults.  And I fought hard to secure this funding so this program can continue to grow at a time when we need it the most.”

“The In-Demand Scholars Program is especially critical because it provides experience while bringing together groups with a stake in seeing our young people grow into successful adults – our schools, area businesses, and workforce and labor leaders,” Murray continued.  “To build a competitive 21st century economy, we need all of those players to keep working together.  And one of my top priorities is to continue to help our communities build these innovative partnerships.”

The Washington Workforce Association, Washington State Labor Council, and Association of Washington Business created the In-Demand Scholars program in 2004 with the help of federal funding secured by Senator Murray.  The program offers high school students the opportunity to develop the skills they need to take jobs in our state’s thriving and emerging fields, including aerospace and health care.

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill will fund programs for the remainder of the 2009 Fiscal Year which runs until September 30th, 2009.  It was unveiled this week and is expected to be passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in the coming weeks.