Hire-A-Youth Program Looks Forward After Successful Year 3:45pm | Businesses and employees alike are applauding the past year's Hire-A-Youth program after it placed more than 1,000 local youth in temporary jobs with 285 employers.Hire-A-Youth was operated by the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds. The ARRA provided salaries and workers' compensation for eligible youth living in several cities including Long Beach. Employers benefited from the extra help but didn't have to pay their new employees, though many did once the program ran out.More than 30-percent of the youth were hired on permanently after the subsidized program ended."When the subsidized employment ended, we offered participant Melissa Lara a part-time paid position in our legal department," said Kelsey Hernandez of Amusement Industries, located in North Long Beach. “We found that she was far more of an asset than we could have imagined and we're excited to keep her on our team.”Employers interested in participating in the Hire-A-Youth program can learn more information by calling the Youth Opportunity Center at 562.570.4700.Disclosure: LBPOST.com publisher Shaun Lumachi is Chair of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board of directors.