THERE HAVE BEEN few bright spots in the economic troubles that the country has struggled through in the past few years. Last summer, a very big bright spot was the fact that 11,000 Philadelphia high-school students got summer jobs.

Thanks to federal recovery money, the city's WorkReady program, which prepares young people for the working world, was able to expand its summer-job program. That meant that a record number of kids got an early taste of professional life - an experience that can indelibly imprint itself on their future success.

This year, the news isn't so bright. Because of the expiration of the stimulus money, the number of slots available is about half what it was last year. (And considering that last year the waiting list still exceeded 10,000 means this could be bleak, indeed.)

But there is still time to help turn this around. WorkReady has a few days left in its current campaign to raise money to fund more summer jobs for high-school students. Each job costs just $1,600 - a small investment with a huge return. You can donate a little or sign up to have your company sponsor one or more jobs (www.savesummerjobs.org). This is an "everyone wins" proposition. *