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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the One Summer Chicago program will expand to provide summer job and internship opportunities for 24,000 youth ages 14 to 24 in neighborhoods across Chicago. Since One Summer Chicago was launched in 2011, Mayor Emanuel has steadily increased the number of available opportunities to keep youth safe and engaged each summer. Since the program began, nearly 75,000 youth have gained valuable job training and work experience.
“One Summer Chicago opens a doorway of opportunity that leads to a better set of choices today and a brighter future for our children tomorrow,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The summer months are when our youth need us the most, which is why we now have the largest summer jobs program in Chicago’s history, serving young people from neighborhoods all throughout our city. It will give them a paycheck but also a set of values to help them reach their full potential.”
Through One Summer Chicago, youth complete six or more weeks of work or career programming, contributing their skills and talents to Chicago’s vibrant communities. Each year, City and County public agencies leverage their resources to provide the maximum number of high-quality work experiences for youth. Opportunities are available in many areas such as urban agriculture, bike repair, outdoor forestry projects, or work at the Brookfield Zoo. The online application for summer employment is available at onesummerchicago.org now through May 15, 2015.
In partnership with the Office of the Treasurer, One Summer Chicago will also set young people on a path towards lifelong positive money management. Youth will participate in a web-based financial education curriculum and receive a certificate of completion after studying banking, responsible money choices, income and careers, budgeting, savings and investing. Delegate agencies will connect young people to financial institutions in their neighborhood prior to the program launch to promote the use of savings and checking accounts and direct deposit.
“One Summer Chicago presents the perfect opportunity to set Chicago's teens on a path towards financial empowerment,” said Treasurer Kurt Summers. “Because many of our City's youth are entering the workforce for the first time, it is important that we connect them with education and safe products while they are building responsible financial habits that will last a lifetime.”
Mayor Emanuel and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) also announced a special new summer jobs program through One Summer Chicago 2015 for youth to learn and disseminate information in their communities about immigration programs that may affect them.
In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Americans, DFSS will be contracting with qualified organizations working on behalf of immigrant communities to provide youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, with the training and opportunity to better engage and educate immigrant families and communities about President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
As part of the One Summer Chicago program, Mayor Emanuel created a special program called One Summer Chicago Plus in 2012 to connect youth who are at a higher risk for violence involvement with a 25-hour per week summer job, a mentor, cognitive behavioral therapy and social skill building. A comprehensive, peer-reviewed study published earlier this year showed that this unique program significantly reduced violent crime involvement among participants for at least 16 months after the program ended.
In February, Mayor Emanuel announced that Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC will invest $10 million over two years to expand One Summer Chicago Plus. Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC is a private entity formed by Earvin Johnson and Mark and Kimbra Walter. Last year, the City employed 1,000 youth through its One Summer Chicago Plus program. Through this expansion, the program will expand to serve 2,000 youth in 2015 and 3,000 youth in 2016.
DFSS leads One Summer Chicago in partnership with participating agencies including: Office of the City Treasurer, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, After School Matters, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.
Notable private sector supporters include: Inner City Youth Empowerment LLC, Citi Foundation, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, JPMorgan Chase, Chicago Community Trust, TCF Bank, Chicago Cares, Civic Leadership Foundation, University of Chicago Crime Lab, TraceRoute, Bandit Park, and MHA Labs.