September 11, 2010

Mayor Daley's “Youth Ready Chicago” Summer Jobs Program Exceeds 2010 Employment Projections By 4,600 Jobs

Provided More than 18,600 Opportunities for Young People
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

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:

  • 2,400 new, subsidized employment opportunities for low-income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)-eligible young people, ages 16 to 24, supported through the Illinois Y.E.S program.
  • 475 new subsidized employment opportunities for low-income, TANF-eligible young people, ages 16 to 21, coordinated by The Partnership for New Communities and the Chicago Job Council.
  • 390 additional opportunities for Chicago Housing Authority youth residents, age 13 to 15, through the Learn and Earn program that provides youth with academic enrichment and career awareness opportunities in targeted industries, including transportation, hospitality and manufacturing.
  • 380 new jobs for low income Community Service Block Grant-eligible youth that will ultimately result in 40 permanent positions. 
  • 150 new apprenticeships and internships for youth, ages 13-18, through the Community Development Block Grant Career Exploration in Green Industries program that offers training in horticulture and entrepreneurial roof-top gardening.

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.