BOSTON (AP) — More than 1,000 teens from across Massachusetts have marched to the Statehouse to press for more funding for youth summer jobs programs.
Protesters rallied at the Old South Church in Boston Thursday afternoon before heading to the Statehouse to push lawmakers to back up to $24.5 million in three youth jobs programs.
Political leaders, including Attorney General Martha Coakley, were in attendance.
Mayor Marty Walsh's administration say they will press businesses in the city to offer youth jobs.
Advocates say the state's teen summer employment rate has fallen from about 54 percent in 1999 to about 27 percent in 2012. They claim that more than 350 businesses do not hire high school students.
Activists say summer jobs keeps kids off the streets and better prepares them for future employment.