Large-scale, public jobs program

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I am a student, living in Lewiston. I believe that the Local Jobs for America Act is necessary.

More than 15 million Americans are out of work. More than a third have been unable to find a job in more than a month. More specifically, unemployment rates are nearing 8.5 percent in Lewiston, significantly higher than in Portland or Bangor.

I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of the recession: friends losing their jobs, losing their health insurance and losing their security.

With the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration fast approaching, I think it seems prudent to reflect how, in a time long ago, our country confronted equally perilous times. The W.P.A. combated the depression by putting hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work, restoring their dignity and self-esteem and providing needed income.

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The Local Jobs for America Act aims to serve a similar function by creating a large-scale public jobs program. It would address specific unemployment trends via producing funds to local officials closest to the needs on the ground.

It is projected that the program could generate as many as one million jobs a year. Our community, our state and our nation need this bill. Rep. Chellie Pingree has signed on as a co-sponsor. I implore Rep. Michael Michaud and other members of Congress to follow her example and make this country more stable and more prosperous.

Charles Niquette, Lewiston

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