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BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore program that connects teens to summer jobs is seeing a surge in interest.

The Baltimore Sun reports more than 16,000 young people have applied to work through the YouthWorks program this year so far. The city says that’s a 40 percent increase from two years ago.

Around 2,000 people registered with the program within 24 hours of applications opening. Nearly 5,000 applications were submitted by the end of the week. YouthWorks has employed 5,000 youths, aged 14 to 21, each summer since it started in the 1990s.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh says the program cost about $14 million last year. But the surge in applications is going to drive up the price. The mayor says the city needs about 5,000 more job opportunities to accommodate the application increase.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com