Mayor Emanuel Announces New Investment To Expand One Summer Chicago Jobs Program To Reach Nearly 30,000 Youth

May 20, 2016

Investment Would Increase Summer Jobs by More than 3,000; By Employing Nearly 30,000 Youth this Summer Program Will Have Doubled in Size Since 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced more than 3,000 additional youth jobs will be offered under his One Summer Chicago youth employment initiative thanks to an investment by Emerson Collective. The expansion, which comes days before the May 22 application deadline, means the program will offer a record 30,000 jobs this summer – more than double the number of summer jobs the city offered when Mayor Emanuel took office.

“Summer is just around the corner, and with a record 30,000 job opportunities, we will help youth earn a paycheck and as they realize their full potential,” said Mayor Emanuel. “One Summer Chicago is built on the premise of our city stepping up for our children when they need us most, and its success is tied to the support we lend to make our youth stronger. I want to thank Emerson Collective, as well as our other partners, for stepping up to help Chicago’s youth connect with meaningful work opportunities that will keep them safe and engaged this summer.”

This investment will support an expansion of One Summer Chicago, creating additional employment and internship opportunities with lead employers After School Matters, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Parks Department. This newfound investment brings the total in private funding supporting the program this year to around $17 million.

“In returning to Chicago, it was important to me to find ways to give back and help our City’s youth to learn real and applicable skills that will lead them to jobs,” said Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and managing partner at Emerson Collective. “The Mayor’s One Summer Chicago program is built on the promise that if you provide young people with real skills to make a difference, that they will make better choices tomorrow. By providing these jobs to our youth, they will help to make a difference in their communities today and in the city of Chicago for years to come.”

Growing the program each year is a priority for Mayor Emanuel, due to the strong demand by thousands of youth each year to become engaged and employed. One Summer Chicago 2016 has added new opportunities for youth ages 14-24 to contribute their skills and talents to Chicago’s vibrant communities. Opportunities are available in many industry areas, ranging from urban agriculture and outdoor forestry projects to bike repair and office and clerical work.

The program has also diversified with First Lady Amy Rule’s support to secure new employment partners this year. These partnerships include the Chicago Cubs, Hyatt and Navy Pier—which have collectively added over 100 youth opportunities this year.

As One Summer Chicago program continues to grow, a special subset called One Summer PLUS, designed for at-risk youth, has also expanded. Mayor Emanuel created the PLUS program to connect youth who are at a higher risk for violence involvement with a 25-hour per week summer job, a mentor, civic leadership training and social skill building. With generous commitments from Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC and the Emerson Collective, this program will serve more than 4,000 youth this summer – an increase by more than a factor of four since it launched. Overall, more than 75 percent of One Summer Chicago employment opportunities this year have been allocated for youth residing in at-risk neighborhoods, based on poverty and violence rates.

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 14,500 in 2011 to 30,000 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 Emanuel and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) just last week extended the deadline for One Summer Chicago job and internship application due to high demand, providing youth around the city an extra week to get their applications in and take advantage of new opportunities. The online application for minimum of six-week summer employment is available at through May 22, 2016.

About One Summer Chicago:
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, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago Public Libraries 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.

About Emerson Collective:
Emerson Collective is an organization that invests and advocates for immigration reform, school improvement and various other social justice initiatives through investments in entrepreneurs and nonprofits as well as support of public policy advocates. Former U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan joined Emerson Collective following his work at the Department of Education to focus on creating job opportunities for 17- to 24-year-olds who are neither working nor in school.

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