Mayor Emanuel Encourages Youth to Apply to One Summer Chicago 2017

March 14, 2017

City welcomes back largest summer jobs program on record, offering new opportunities for youth and ways for the general public to donate to support a greater One Summer Chicago experience

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that his One Summer Chicago program will return to provide over 30,000 job and internship opportunities this summer for youth ages 14 to 24 from neighborhoods across the city. The City of Chicago is welcoming applications to the more than 30,000 job and internship opportunities available through the 2017 program by applying at now and through May 15, 2017.

In addition to the array opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful summer jobs and internships, the City of Chicago will debut a new crowd-funding component, allowing the general public to donate funds to the mission of keeping youth safe and engaged in productive experiences during summer months.

“Every year, One Summer Chicago opens the doorway of opportunity to a valuable work experience and a summer paycheck today, leading our children to realize their full potential and a brighter future tomorrow,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We all have a role to play, which is why I’m encouraging members to be a part of our mission to create a safe and positive summer experience for youth in every neighborhood.”

Through the city’s partnership with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the new "One Summer Chicago 2017 Fund” launches today and provides the general public a chance to support positive summer opportunities and safer communities through the OSC program, focusing on enhancements to four distinct program areas: neighborhood beautification, college access, youth-led anti-violence initiatives and summer opportunities and supports.

Sponsorship ranges from financing work supplies and transportation for participants, to major community beautification projects, like murals and planters; donations can also support FAFSA workshops for students and families, and stipends for books for first-time college students. A top-tier donation can support an entire summer job to serve an additional youth in the program, and all donations made to the One Summer Chicago Fund will directly benefit the youth participants through added opportunities to contribute to their communities and build new skills.

“This year’s program will give youth a deeper experience than in years past, with new opportunities for youth to contribute their skills and talents to Chicago’s vibrant communities,” said Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “For many One Summer Chicago participants, this is their first segue into the workforce, and we work hard to provide a safe and positive summer experience that will teach our youth skills to last them a lifetime.”

Donations to the “One Summer Chicago 2017 Fund,” a fund of the McCormick Foundation, can be made online at or by mail with checks payable mailed to: One Summer Chicago 2017, 23912 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1245

“We are honored to support One Summer Chicago as it provides tremendous employment and engagement opportunities for Chicago’s youth,” said David Hiller, President and CEO of the McCormick Foundation.

The Mayor announced One Summer Chicago 2017 today at the Opportunity Youth Summit, where city leaders launched a three-year campaign to engage more “opportunity youth,” or youth aged 16- 24 who are neither employed nor in school, in opportunities to learn and earn. Just as the program does every year, it will provide opportunities for youth in this target group to engage through the One Summer PLUS program, with 2,000 opportunities this year for the city’s most at-risk young men and women. The PLUS program combines intensive mentoring and cognitive therapy with the traditional work experience, both of which together have shown to reduce violent crime involvement among participants for at least 16 months after the program ended.

This year’s One Summer Chicago will also link young men and women participating in Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) to jobs with After School Matters, one of the city’s leading youth employers and One Summer Chicago partners. Exposure to these programs has proven to reduce involvement in crime and to increase on-time high school graduation rates by nearly 20 percent. Following a commitment to expand these programs as part of the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, 2,000 BAM and WOW participants will have an opportunity to build on progress made during the school year with meaningful work opportunities this summer.

A new-and-improved application process will use a tiered matching process to pair youth applicants with jobs, apprenticeships and skill-building opportunities based on their interest area and skill-level. New opportunities in 2017 include the Youth Arts Corps, enabling youth to contribute to public art projects as part of the city’s 2017 “Year of Public Art.” Returning this year are the traditional work and apprenticeship opportunities—including urban agriculture, bike repair, outdoor forestry projects—as well as office and clerical work.

Each year the City continues to diversify the public-private program to provide youth more choices in job and internship opportunities. Last year, the program exceeded its own plans to serve 25,000 youth, expanding with $17 million in support from the private sector to serve more than 31,000 youth. A significant investment by Emerson Collective to expand the 2016 One Summer Chicago program created an additional 4,700 employment and internship opportunities. The 2016 program also added many new employer partnerships, due to First Lady Amy Rule’s role in leveraging new partners, including the Chicago Cubs, Hyatt, and Navy Pier.

Under the Mayor’s leadership, the city has steadily increased its investment every year in mentoring and other youth programs to address some of the most urgent needs facing the city: keeping youth safe, improving school outcomes and reducing crime. In the past six years alone, One Summer Chicago has more than doubled to meet the overwhelming demand for these programs, serving more than 130,000 youth to date with valuable job training and work experiences.

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