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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Businesses selected for youth employment, childcare grants

By Charlene Sims, Journal staff

MOUND CITY – Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower announced the business recipients of the Summer Youth Employment Grants to the commissioners on Monday, April 24, and also the recipient of one childcare grant.

Hightower said that 19 businesses applied for the Summer Youth Employment grant. Thirty-one youth positions were applied for. Ten grants were available for businesses and two alternate businesses are chosen in case one of the 10 businesses were not able to hire an employee by May 15.

The Linn County Economic Development Committee chose Barker’s Corner Automotive, La Cygne; Black Elk Coffee Bar, La Cygne; Coleman Hardware, Mound City; Dreamscape Innovations, Mound City; People’s Telecom, La Cygne; Rocky Suns Farm, Parker; Stainbrook’s Auto, Home, Farm and Feed, La Cygne; Travis Stevens Performance Horses, La Cygne; Umphenour Farms, Pleasanton; and Wade Remodeling, Centerville. The two alternates were Double K Construction and Sugar Valley Lake Homes Association, both from Mound City.

Hightower said that she was excited to see the number of business applicants and number of positions applied for go up for this grant every year. She said that the county requires that the employer pays the youth employee at least $8 per hour for up to 30 hours per week for 10 weeks during the summer. The county will then reimburse the employers $4 for every hour paid up to $1,200. Businesses can pay the employee more than $8.

Commission Chair Danny McCullough asked if more positions could be added for next year.

Hightower said that the money is from her budget and if the commissioners wanted to discuss the increase in her budget for next year, she would be happy to add more positions next year.

Hightower told the commissioners that two years ago the number of positions was bumped up from 8 to 10.

Hightower told the commissioners that Jennifer Johnson of Pleasanton had received $250 for the childcare grant. This grant was newly established last month for a licensed childcare provider to use for supplies, educational materials, books, toys, and classes for themselves because they have to keep up with continuing education hours for the license. This is a reimbursement grant, so the awardee is paid after submitting receipts.

Johnson used the money for a covered sand box set up so the children could play outside in the shade and she also is funding a training class with the grant.

Hightower said that Johnson had ordered her purchases over the weekend and has already turned in all of the receipts.

Last month, the commissioners approved making four of these Childcare Provider Grants available in 2023.

Hightower said the procedure for applying for the grant is get an application from the economic development office, be awarded the grant and sometime before Dec. 1 submit receipts to economic development for things they want to be reimbursed for up to $250. The receipts have to be in the current calendar year.

For more information, contact Jessica Hightower at (913) 795-2274.

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