Mayor Richard M. Daley said today the City’s 2010 “Youth Ready Chicago” summer jobs program provided employment for more than 18,600 young people ages 14-24 -- 4,600 more than was forecast last March.
It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of this program. Summer jobs are more than just a moneymaking opportunity for our students. They’re even more than a way to keep our children safe. Summer jobs are a critical investment in the future of our city,” the Mayor said in a news conference held at the Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Av.
Daley said the opportunities provided through “Youth Ready Chicago” included internships, apprenticeships and jobs in both the public and private sector. Public sector partners include After School Matters, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Housing Authority and City Colleges of Chicago.
Earlier this year, City officials had projected the 2010 summer jobs program would serve approximately 14,000 young people in the absence of $17.3 million in Youth Workforce Investment Act federal stimulus funding that supported the program in 2009.
“By working hard with our local and state partners, we were able to identify new employment opportunities, maximize existing resources and ultimately reduce the summer jobs gap we had anticipated in the absence of the stimulus package we enjoyed last year,” he said. < 2010 program expansion highlights include:
Each year, the “Youth Ready Chicago” program works to provide young people with opportunities to obtain marketable skills in the workplace, gain exposure to burgeoning career industries and create positive relationships with adults and their communities, while earning money.
Daley thanked the City’s private and public sectors for their hard work in closing the expected job gap for summer, 2010. And he thanked the After School Matters program, which partnered with more than 150 community organizations and with the City and its sister agencies to offer more than 4,000 paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities for Chicago teenagers in more than 250 programs in the arts, science, sports, technology and communications.
The news conference featured students employed through “Youth Ready Chicago” and ASM dance students rehearsing for the upcoming After School Matters gala event, to be held Wednesday, September 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the McCormick Place Skyline Ballroom.
"Everyone should ask themselves what they can do to help After School Matters -- and all our other partners -- provide more opportunities for Chicago young people,” Daley said. He again challenged the City’s business leaders to strengthen their efforts to provide jobs for young people, either by supporting “Youth Ready Chicago” or by hiring young people themselves.
"The bottom line is that we need everyone's help to keep our kids occupied in a positive way during the summer," he said.