Mayor Emanuel Announces 25,000 Summer Youth Job Opportunities Available Through 2016 One Summer Chicago Program

March 14, 2016

Online Registration Opens Today for Mayor’s One Summer Chicago Program to Keep Chicago’s Youth Engaged this Summer with Job and Internship Opportunities

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that his One Summer Chicago program will expand to provide 25,000 job and internship opportunities this summer for youths ages 14 to 24 from neighborhoods across the city. This year, an additional 1,000 One Summer Chicago PLUS opportunities will be added to expand access to programs that will enable youth to develop valuable work skills as they remain engaged during out of school time.

“The summer months are when our children need us the most, which is why we now have the largest summer jobs program in Chicago’s history, serving thousands of young people from neighborhoods all throughout our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “One Summer Chicago opens the doorway of opportunity for valuable work experience and a summer paycheck today, which leads our children to realize a brighter future and their full potential tomorrow.”

This year’s program will give youth a deeper experience than in years past, with new opportunities to contribute their skills and talents to Chicago’s vibrant communities. Opportunities are available in many industry areas, such as urban agriculture, bike repair, outdoor forestry projects, as well as office and clerical work. The online application for minimum of six-week summer employment is available now at through May 15, 2016.

Last year’s One Summer Chicago 2015 marked the largest summer jobs program in the history of the City of Chicago. This year’s program is on-pace to again break that record, with new opportunities in a variety of industry and focus areas to satisfy all youth interests.

This year the City will again expand opportunities under the One Summer PLUS Program, building on last year’s investment to double these opportunities for at-risk youth. Mayor Emanuel created this special program in 2012 to keep youth who are at a higher risk for violence involvement safe and engaged with a 25-hour per week summer job, a mentor, civic leadership training and social skill building. A comprehensive, peer-reviewed study from 2014 found that the PLUS program significantly reduced violent crime involvement among participants for at least 16 months after the program ended.

In 2015, Mayor Emanuel announced an Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC—a private entity created by Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Mark and Kimbra Walter—investment of $10 million over two years to expand One Summer Chicago PLUS. Since Mayor Emanuel established the PLUS program in 2012, with just 700 participants served in its inaugural year, the program has grown more than fourfold, and will serve 3,000 youth total in 2016.

Program enhancements for One Summer Chicago and One Summer Chicago PLUS 2016 include coding and investment academies, urban planning and architecture opportunities, as well as new work programs under Mayor Emanuel’s Infrastructure team, which works to beautify neighborhoods across the city, one boulevard at a time. Last year, youth participants beautified 87 miles of Chicago boulevards and painted 305 viaducts.

Overall, a year-end report last year demonstrated that youth participating in One Summer Chicago 2015 engaged in over 2.5 million hours of real-world work experiences, earning nearly $7 million dollars in youth wages, and benefitting the local economy while remaining safe and engaged during summer months.

“The Mayor’s One Summer Chicago provides more than just jobs,” said Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “One Summer Chicago teaches youth the essential skills that they need to succeed in career and in life.”

With the support of Citi Foundation and other partners, all participants of One Summer Chicago will receive financial education that will help them develop lifelong positive money management skills.

“We are proud to be part of the collective movement across this country to provide meaningful opportunities for young people during the summer,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation “An investment in our youth is a wise investment in the future of Chicago.”

Growing the program each year remains a priority for Mayor Emanuel, due to the strong demand by youth each year to become engaged. Last year alone 66,000 youth applied for the coveted opportunities. Each year, the One Summer Chicago program grows and diversifies to provide meaningful opportunities for youth to learn new skills through opportunities with city and delegate agencies, as well as corporate and local businesses.

DFSS leads One Summer Chicago in partnership with participating agencies including: Office of the City Treasurer, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, After School Matters, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Public Library and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.

One Summer Chicago also receives support from private companies including: Chicago Community Trust, Citi Foundation, Civic Leadership Foundation., University of Chicago Crime Lab, JPMorgan Chase, TCF Bank, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, TraceRoute, MHA Labs, and Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC, and the McCormick Foundation.

Since One Summer Chicago was launched in 2011, Mayor Emanuel has steadily increased the number of available opportunities to keep youth safe and engaged each summer from 14,000 in 2011 to 25,000 this year. To date, more than 100,000 youths from neighborhoods across the city have gained valuable job training and work experience through the City’s burgeoning public-private program.

Mayor's Office Official Press Release

News Release Facts

People We Serve:
Programs & Initiatives: