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Jobs for high school grads [Letter]

If President Barack Obama were serious about providing jobs for high school graduates, he'd change some U.S. State Department policies. There are plenty of temporary jobs in Maryland and elsewhere, but now they go to foreign students thanks to the J-1 Visa Summer Work Travel Program ("The day after graduation," April 7).

Anyone visiting Ocean City or other summer destinations can't miss the huge number of foreign students employed in restaurants, hotels and stores. Why can't these jobs go to Americans?

The Summer Work Travel Program, sponsored by the State Department, is a wonderful opportunity for young people from other countries to visit, earn money, interact with Americans and travel. It's also a boon to employers, who don't have to provide health insurance or deduct Social Security payments. Also, foreign kids will take less money than what Americans would expect.

It's time our high school graduates were recruited for these summer (and often winter jobs). Not every graduate is headed to college, and summer jobs are a great way to learn what it takes to hold down a paying position and adhere to workplace protocol.

Let's give summer jobs in places like Ocean City and along the Eastern Shore to our Maryland high school graduates.

Rosalind Heid, Baltimore

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