April 10, 2016

Mayor Emanuel Announces Funding To Restore Youth Employment At Shuttered Site

Bikes N’ Roses’ Belmont Cragin site to reopen and employ youth via One Summer Chicago and year-round opportunities

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today an investment to restore 65 youth employment opportunities at a small business that had been closed earlier this year due to funding withheld by the state’s ongoing budget impasse. Bikes N’ Roses, which provides after-school and summer jobs for local high school students, will reopen its Belmont Cragin location with assistance by the city, allowing the business to employ 50 youth as part of the 2016 One Summer Chicago program.

“The summer months are when our children need us the most, which is why we must step in when the state will not,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This year, the city has built on continued investments in our youth through another expansion to One Summer Chicago programming to engage our children. A summer job is more than a paycheck, it provides our children with the right set of values today to help them make the right set of choices tomorrow.”

To reopen Bikes N’ Roses’ Belmont Cragin location, Mayor Emanuel has directed a $60,000 investment to restore 20 yearlong youth employment opportunities, and an additional $94,000 through One Summer Chicago program funding to provide 50 youths with summer work opportunities at the same site.

Started in 2011, Bikes N’ Roses is a youth employment program run by non-profit organization Communities United. The program, which relies on $276,000 in state grants to train and employ youth across its two sites, was forced to close down one of the sites earlier this year when as a result of an executive order by Governor Rauner, which froze the program’s core operational funding was frozen.

"By providing jobs for youth the city will helps reduce violence in our community as more young people will have the choice to be off the streets," Rosa Reyes, Belmont Cragin Parent.

Currently, Bikes N’ Roses’ Albany Park location employs 15 youth who provide bike repair services, provides workshop training to 100 youth, and has a customer base of over 2,000 people. The City’s investment will allow the Belmont Cragin bike shop to fully operate out of its storefront and will provide wages for youth and mentors, along with supplies for training workshops.

Bikes N’ Roses is one of dozens of employment sites under Mayor Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago program, which will provide meaningful summer employment and learning opportunities to teach youth job skills and keep them learning and engaged all summer long.

“Providing our young people with opportunities that will allow them to learn professional and life skills will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Department of Family Supports and Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “This is especially true for our youth employed by Bikes N’ Roses, an established program that has provided hundreds of Chicago’s youth not only a job and a paycheck, but the chance to hone new skills and a unique experience.”

Communities United—a community organization dedicated to improving Chicago residents’ quality of life through access to public education, affordable housing, quality health care, youth employment and other opportunities—has engaged more than 10,000 residents since its founding in 2000. Communities United is one of more than 160 City, corporate and private organizations led by DFSS to provide thousands of paid employment opportunities for Chicago’s youths this summer season.

One Summer Chicago has expanded again under Mayor Emanuel to provide more than 25,000 employment opportunities for youths ages 14-24 across the city this summer, building on One Summer Chicago 2015, which marked the largest summer jobs program in the city’s history. Applications to participate in One Summer Chicago are being accepted now through May 15th at www.onesummerchicago.org.