(HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 5, 2009) -- In the current economic climate, summer jobs for students have been hard to come by this year. However, seven fortunate young people from Hartford's Blue Hills neighborhood have jobs at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, thanks to special funding through Capital Workforce Partners.

Working with the Blue Hills Civic Association (BHCA), the Hospital selected seven first-year college students who are working 19 hours a week for eight weeks this summer in assignments on both the Saint Francis Campus and the North Campus.

"A skilled workforce is a key element of continued success for Saint Francis. To be able to offer summer employment to local students who are in the midst of making career choices is an exciting opportunity for our organization and the students," said Edward Johnson, D.D.S., Senior Vice President, North Campus. "It is our hope that the time spent with us is worthwhile and will lead them toward a meaningful career in one of the many healthcare fields. We would love to see them all return to us as professionals!"

All of the seven students, who are considering healthcare careers, are assisting certified nursing aides and working in clerical assignments.

"The BHCA has operated summer youth programs for over 20 years. Community partners such as Saint Francis have significantly added value to the summer youth program by providing job experiences that in many cases coincide with the career aspirations of the youth participants," said Vicki Gallon-Clark, Program Director of the Association. "The college internship initiative is one of our newest components.

We express our sincere appreciation to Mary Ann Hanley and everyone at Saint Francis who partnered with us in creating another successful youth program."

In addition, five high school students from the Blue Hills neighborhood have been working at the Hospital this summer through Summer Employment and Learning Program funds provided by Capital Workforce Partners. "The Blue Hills Civic Association is proud to be part of the Capital Workforce Partners' Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program in North Central Connecticut," Gallon-Clark stated.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.