District's Summer Jobs Program takes applications from thousands of teens

Several thousand young adults started planning their summer breaks Friday.{ }

In four months, they'll be earning money with the District's Summer Jobs Program, which faced controversy last summer.

D.C.'s 10.4 percent unemployment rate and the fear of being jobless this summer had teens waiting in line outside the city's Department of Employment Services when the application process began Friday afternoon.

DES Director Lisa Mallory says the department is now doing background checks on all employees and heightened training with teens after two young women alleged sexual abuse last summer.

The program pays 14 to 21 year olds minimum wage to work at local partner businesses and agencies.

Last year, it cost $19 million.

The summer jobs program will employ about 14,000 teens for six weeks.