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Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 1:30am

Job Bank Connects Youth With Work

The U.S. Labor Department is trying to get more young people working this summer, especially low-income and disadvantaged teens. So it’s created a new online listing of summer jobs, internships and other training.

Many Georgia companies have listed unpaid internships or training programs in the bank so far.

One of the companies offering paying jobs is Carrollton-based Southwire Company, which hires struggling high schoolers for part-time jobs.

“Selfishly, our intent is to build a workforce for ourselves and others for the future. We believe that we’re really in a jam there, and we’re not producing a qualified workforce,” said Mike Wiggins, a Southwire executive vice president.

Wiggins said the “12 For Life” program helps kids get through school while also teaching them valuable skills. They work part-time (four hours a day) in a manufacturing facility while they go to school. Southwire makes electrical wire and cables.

“The kids have shifts that are custom-designed for them,” Wiggins said. “We do a lot of on-site tutoring. We have classrooms there where they can get all kind of academic assistance.”

Wiggins said even though the program isn’t specifically for summer jobs, Southwire committed to adding 30 positions this year as part of the federal jobs initiative.