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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today celebrated another successful year of the One Summer Chicago program. For the third year in a row, One Summer Chicago 2014 exceeded its goal with more than 22,500 youth completing six or more weeks of work or career programing where they contributed their skills and talents to the City of Chicago’s vibrant economy. The celebration took place a breakfast recognizing youth “Game Change Award” winners and thanking financial and in-kind supporters of the program as well as those who provide services and job placement for youth.
“Through One Summer Chicago, our youth remain safe and engaged throughout the summer while receiving direct career and educational support,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Working through a joint effort with city, county, and private partners, we have provided an unprecedented number of opportunities, allowing youth to develop meaningful skills in the workplace. This experience will ensure they are on a pathway to success as they prepare for college and career.”
“Cook County was proud to be a partner in One Summer Chicago, which helped thousands of young people find fun and meaningful summer employment,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “In the Forest Preserves of Cook County alone, nearly 200 young people worked closely with staff and partners on habitat restoration, community outreach, and public programming. Visiting them in the Forest Preserves to see the work they were doing first-hand was one of the highlights of my summer. I’m grateful to all of the participants in the program for their effort.”
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), which coordinates the efforts of One Summer Chicago, One Summer Chicago Plus, and Green Corps, reports 22,500 youth completed the program, exceeding the initial projection of 22,000. Youth accomplished 2,618,200 hours of work at 531 unique work sites across Chicago neighborhoods. Youth also completed 136,372 hours of additional enrichment programming over the summer, empowering them on their path to college and career success.
One Summer Chicago youth proudly represented all 77 Chicago communities and 50 aldermanic wards. Participating youth demonstrated that they are a powerful source of entry-level talent as 72 percent of One Summer Chicago employers surveyed would hire their youth employee if they had an open position and 75 percent would recommend their youth for a similar position.
The Office of the Treasurer, One Summer Chicago, and banking partners also worked to transform youth banking practices by increasing access to no- and low-cost banking products, increasing the number of youth who are banked, and building pathways to the financial mainstream. Through a partnership with the Bank On Chicago initiative, a new website (bankonchicago.com/osc) was launched providing One Summer youth the freedom to easily research, compare and choose banking products targeted to meet their needs.
Mayor Emanuel and President Preckwinkle developed the One Summer Chicago program in May 2011. In 2012, Mayor Emanuel directed the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services to partner with the University of Chicago Crime Lab to design a specialized violence prevention program, One Summer Chicago Plus. The program concentrates on at-risk youth from neighborhoods with elevated rates of violent crime and provides them with services by linking them with job opportunities, wraparound services and mentoring.
City and County departments partner with sister agencies to deliver summer employment and internships for young people through One Summer Chicago. Led by the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services, those partners include After School Matters, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Cook County Forest Preserve, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the Office of the Treasurer.
For more information about One Summer Chicago, please visit onesummerchicago.org.