Mayor Emanuel Closes One Summer Chicago With A Thank You To Youth

August 7, 2018

A record high 32,000 youth participated in summer jobs throughout the City this year

Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed the 2018 One Summer Chicago (OSC) job season today by thanking youth at BUILD Chicago. BUILD was one of nearly 2,000 work sites that provided a record high 32,000 jobs and internships to youth ages 14-24 this summer, more than double from when the program first began in 2011. The six week program provided youth with valuable work experience while keeping them safe and engaged during the summer months.

“Congratulations to all the young men and women who completed the One Summer Chicago program. These opportunities represent more than a paycheck. It is a chance to gain valuable life experience while positively impacting your communities," said Mayor Emanuel. "I want to thank you for, once again, surpassing all of our expectations and for your service to the residents our Chicago."

This summer youth worked on a variety of projects ranging from building mobile libraries, to working on neighborhood beautification projects, to participating in tech internships and more.

“The projects our youth work on may appear modest, but they have a big impact," said BUILD Executive Director Adam Alonso. "A summer job is much more than work experience and an earning opportunity – it is a visible reminder that young people are always part of the solution. Whether they produce a library, a mural, or a vegetable garden, young people learn to see themselves as contributors and emerging leaders. That's an investment that always pays off."

BUILD is one of several organizations to receive a mobile community library as part of the new OSC Block Club, Book Club program. The Block Club, Book Club program looks to foster reading by providing neighborhood residents with access to free books ranging from bedtime stories to fictional novels. OSC youth collectively built 200 mobile libraries that will be filled with books and distributed to block clubs and community organizations throughout the city.

“We are proud to have had the opportunity to work with so many of Chicago’s talented youth,” said Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “We hope the more than 32,000 youth learned lasting life and professional skills.”

In addition to the mobile libraries, OSC youth have been hard at work this season helping to beautify neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Working with crews from the City's Departments of Streets and Sanitation and Transportation, the youth have:

  • painted over 200 viaducts
  • mulched nearly 1,200 trees
  • collected over 500 bags of debris
  • cleaned more than 30 boulevards
  • created and supported nearly 145 community gardens

One Summer Chicago Plus was also back again this year. The program specializes in violence prevention summer workforce programs for high-need youth, ages 16 - 21, who reside in the highest risk communities. Recruited worksites provide youth with a safe, well-defined experience that allows them to gain valuable work readiness skills.

Last summer, the University of Chicago Urban Labs study found by providing a summer job, through the One Summer Chicago Plus program reduced the number of violent-crime arrests for participants by 33 percent over the subsequent year.

The Citi Foundation collaborated with One Summer Chicago for its fifth consecutive year, with funding that has totaled over $4.5 million. The Summer Jobs Connect program, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, provides youth with summer employment and financial education.

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 seven years alone, One Summer Chicago has more than doubled to meet the overwhelming demand for these programs, serving more than 160,000 youth to date with valuable job training and work experiences.

About One Summer Chicago:
One Summer Chicago is a partnership with the following agencies/organizations to hire and place youth in meaningful summer work experiences. Participating partners include: Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City Colleges, Chicago Public Libraries, Cook County Workforce Partnership, Forest Preserve, Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Transportation, Department of Streets and Sanitation, After School Matters, Lincoln Park Zoo.

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