Council commends approval of $2.2 mil for summer youth employment

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed July 1 legislation to provide nearly $2.2 million to employ as many as 50 high school and college students at each of the Nation’s 110 chapters this summer.

The Navajo Nation Council approved the funding during a special session held June 19, when legislation sponsor Council Delegate Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) introduced the bill to provide summer jobs for Navajo youth, particularly those who live in rural areas.

“The allocations will allow our Navajo students to gain work experience and allow them to use their earnings for college tuition, school supplies, school clothes or other educational expenses,” Damon said.

Each chapter receives up to $35,000 based on the chapter’s current available balance for summer youth employment. Chapters with $35,000 or more in their youth employment account will not be eligible to receive additional funding and chapters with a negative balance in the account would only receive up to $35,000.

Supplemental funding shall not be distributed until a chapter’s current balance for summer youth employment is depleted, and chapters with a negative balance in the account will be required to bring their account current to receive the supplemental funding.

The resolution also directs the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Controller, and the Division of Community Development to update the chapter summer youth employment fund balances within seven calendar days.

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