BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands of students will be working this summer and getting paid by the state of Maryland.

It’s a summer jobs program that’s getting increased funding from the Hogan administration.

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WJZ’s Ron Matz reports the lieutenant governor helped kick things off Monday morning in Baltimore.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford kicked off the state’s Youthworks program at the state office complex, meeting with some of the 8,000 students who will have summer jobs with the state.

“We have developed a very meaningful life skills program,” said Gail Bassette, the secretary of the Maryland Dept. of General Services.” It will expose them to other activities including their next career path and some other meaningful activities.

Rutherford told WJZ the program is so important, the Hogan administration has upped the funding by $1 million.

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“It’s very important for people to get their first job, it establishes that work ethic making sure you get to your job on time,” Rutherford said.”You may thinking teachers and administrators are giving you a hard time, but they’re really preparing you for your future.”

This summer jobs program will last five weeks and each student will have a mentor who will help them develop positive work habits and possibly help choose a career path.

“Every Wednesday we stop the students from performing their duties on the work side and actually do some self improvement,” School Superintendent Lillian Lowery said, “writing a resume, preparing a portfolio, talking about proper decorum as far as their speech and dress — we believe we will help them be better prepared when they go out into the work force.”

For these young people, a chance to work and follow their dreams.

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The Youthworks summer jobs program is open to students between the ages for 14 and 21.