June 27, 2016

Mayor Emanuel Kicks Off 2016 One Summer Chicago with Visit to Youth Workers

City’s Largest Youth Jobs Program to Serve More than 30,000 Youth, With Nearly 2,000 Youth Participating in Mayor’s Infrastructure Program this Summer

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today kicked off the 2016 One Summer Chicago program by visiting youth working on a viaduct transformation project. The youth jobs program—which marks the City’s largest jobs program to date—will provide more than 30,000 youth ages 14-24 this summer with job and internship opportunities. Since 2011, Mayor Emanuel has significantly expanded the summer program, more than doubling opportunities while diversifying work opportunities for youths around the city.

“The summer is when our children need us most, which is why we continue investing in our youth and in our children’s futures under the One Summer Chicago program,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Every year we are proud to grow this program, which provides youth an opportunity to learn new skills, give back to their communities, and make better choices tomorrow.”

The City is committed to growing One Summer Chicago year over year, due to the strong demand by thousands of youth each year to become engaged and employed. This year, the City received a record number of applications with more than 82,000 received this year.

One Summer Chicago opportunities are available in many industry areas, ranging from urban agriculture and outdoor forestry projects to bike repair and office and clerical work. The program has diversified with First Lady Amy Rule’s support to secure new employment partners this year. These partnerships include the Chicago Cubs, Hyatt and Navy Pier—which have collectively added another 100 youth opportunities this year.

A significant investment by Emerson Collective to expand the program created an additional 4,700 employment and internship opportunities with lead employers After School Matters, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Parks Department. This newfound investment brings the total private funding supporting the program this year to around $17 million.

As One Summer Chicago program continues to grow, a special subset called One Summer PLUS, designed for at-risk youth, has also expanded. Mayor Emanuel created the PLUS program to connect youth who are at a higher risk for violence involvement with a summer job, a mentor, civic leadership training and social skill building.

The Mayor will join youth painting a viaduct—one of several to be revitalized in partnership with DFSS, DSS and CDOT this summer—as part of his Infrastructure program that began last year. The infrastructure subset of One Summer Chicago provides youth the opportunity to work on large-scale infrastructure projects, allowing both youth and residents an opportunity to celebrate the completion of a project that will have an immediate benefit for a neighborhood.

Mayor Emanuel joined youth today at a viaduct in the Auburn Gresham--one of several to be revitalized in partnership with the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT). Last year marked the first year of the infrastructure subset of One Summer Chicago, which provides youth the opportunity to work on large-scale infrastructure projects, allowing both youth and residents an opportunity to celebrate the completion of a project that will have an immediate benefit for a neighborhood. Approximately 1,600 youth will be working alongside city agencies to overhaul and improve viaducts across the city this summer, with another 600 youths working to revitalize boulevards and lots, allowing Chicago to both renew itself and to build a better future for youth and families.

A 2015 year-end report revealed that One Summer Chicago youth last year engaged in over 2.5 million hours of real-world work experiences this summer, and earned nearly $7 million dollars in wages. This summer, with more participants than ever before and expanded opportunities, youth are anticipated to outpace these accomplishments.


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About One Summer Chicago:
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, Chicago Public Libraries and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.

One Summer Chicago also receives support from private companies including: Chicago Community Trust, Citi Foundation, Civic Leadership Foundation., University of Chicago Crime Lab, JPMorgan Chase, TCF Bank, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, TraceRoute, MHA Labs, and Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC, and the McCormick Foundation.