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Urban Youth Corps Gets Backing

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A coalition of youth-service organizations and private foundations has announced a $65-million initiative to create urban youth corps in major cities nationwide.

The Urban Corps Expansion Project--conducted by Public/Private Ventures of Philadelphia and the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps in Washington--will provide $10,000 grants to 25 cities to design youth-corps programs, program officials announced this month.

Twenty-four of those cities have already been chosen. They are Albany, N.Y.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Durham, N.C.; El Paso; Eugene, Ore.; Flint, Mich.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; Milwaukee; Newark; New Haven, Conn.; Portland, Ore.; Rochester, N.Y.; Savannah, Ga.; St. Louis; St. Paul; Spokane, Wash; and Winston-Salem, N.C.

According to Margaret Rosenberry, the nascc's executive director, 38 full-time, year-round youth corps currently serve 12,500 young people annually. Similar to the Citizens Conservation Corps created in the 1930's, the corps will serve 18- to 23-year-olds who are unemployed or not in school.

Corps members will be paid the minimum wage to work on such projects as restoring parks and working in shelters for the homeless.--lj

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