Chicago selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to launch Beyond Summer Jobs in Chicago program and expand job opportunities beyond summer for 300 youth
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 16, 2016. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (Partnership) today announced that Chicagoland has received $2 million of a Summer Jobs and Beyond grant to serve 300 youth over two years, by the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL). The Beyond Summer Jobs in Chicago program (BSJC) marks another aspect of the City-County workforce collaboration that will focus on growing capacity to serve youth in employment opportunities throughout the calendar year, building on the success of the Mayor’s growing One Summer Chicago initiative.
“One Summer Chicago is built on the promise that when we invest in our youth, we also invest in our future, and this will make our city stronger,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The grant from the Department of Labor will allow us to extend employment for more than 300 hardworking youth participating in one summer One Summer Chicago, providing them further opportunities to make a meaningful contribution to their city, and connecting local employers with access to a skilled workforce.”
Beginning this fall, the DOL Beyond Summer Jobs grant will help grow Chicago’s resources to provide part-time job opportunities for in-school youth, as well as year-round opportunities for out-of-school youth. Youth will be eligible for extended employment provided by BSJC based on their participation in Mayor Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago program (OSC).
The U.S. DOL’s Summer Jobs and Beyond grant was created to support communities nationwide that connect disadvantaged young people with evidence-based career opportunity programs; decrease the percentage of youth experiencing violence over the summer; and—more broadly—make sure that young Americans have the support they need to get their first job, and to stay on track for success in the workplace. The DOL selected Chicago as a grant recipient based on the success of and to expand upon the One Summer Chicago youth employment model.
“One of our top priorities at the U.S. Department of Labor is to ensure that the future shines brightly for our youth, so our job this summer is to help young people find theirs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, this grant will help hundreds more young people across Chicagoland experience the dignity of a job and have the opportunity to pave their path to continued career success.”
The Partnership is working with the Department of Family Support Services (DFSS), Chicago Public Schools (CPS), local businesses, and its network of workforce agencies to coordinate resources, and will connect 150 target youth ages 16-24 from this year’s One Summer Chicago with meaningful, year-round employment this fall. The grant will extend to support another 150 youth next year with part-time employment, following participation in One Summer Chicago.
“We are thrilled to be leading the development and coordination of this effort; youth employment stimulates our local economy, creates safer communities, and helps fill the pipeline of employer demand,” said Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO of the Partnership. “This funding will provide meaningful jobs, education and training opportunities to youth throughout the Chicagoland area.”
DFSS will work with The Partnership to connect youth who are out-of-school and in search of employment, with meaningful, part-time and year-round employment. Participants will be identified through the existing OSC applicant pool, along with Chicago Public Schools’ S.O.A.R. Centers (Student Outreach and Re-Engagement). BSJC will provide a Career Coach to eligible One Summer Chicago participants, who will then work to connect them with training or employment opportunities once the summer employment cycle has ended.
“Each year, the Mayor’s One Summer Chicago program provides our children with more than just a job, but also an opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed in career and in life,” said Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “We look forward to fostering these skill-building opportunities for our youth year round, thanks to this generous grant that will give them a job and an opportunity to build their resumes as they make a difference in their community.”
The Beyond Summer Jobs in Chicago (BSJC) initiative will build on One Summer Chicago’s efforts to connect youth residing in high-risk areas with year-round part-time employment opportunities. Overall, more than 75 percent of One Summer Chicago employment opportunities this year have been allocated for youth residing in at-risk neighborhoods, based on poverty and violence rates.