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City creates youth jobs in Chicago

Posted on September 30, 2018

The city is busy creating more youth jobs in Chicago.

The One Summer Chicago (OSC) initiative at the annual breakfast held at XS Tennis provided job and internship opportunities to 32,223 youth this year, and participants logged nearly 3 million hours overall. One Summer Chicago has grown 122 percent since 2011.

“The young men and women participating in One Summer Chicago are earning more than a paycheck; they are gaining valuable life experiencing and making a positive impact on their communities,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Due to the hardworking participants in the program, more and more employers are eager to bring on young people across Chicago for programs that help set them up for a successful future.”

New to OSC this year was CHICAGOBILITY, a foundational track to support youth ages 14 -15 as they develop skills for employment and explore careers, self-discovery and self-awareness. CHICAGOBILITY is a six-week program, guided by a curriculum, with a focus on: community contribution, beautification and sustainability and/or safety through youth-driven projects.

This summer youth worked on a variety of projects ranging from building mobile libraries, to working on neighborhood beautification projects, to participating in tech internships and more. Through DFSS, the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), youth were provided with leadership and other skillsets by involving them in daily work to help beautify Chicago neighborhoods. The team collectively:

  • revived 150 viaducts
  • mulched more than 2,500 trees
  • collected over 760 bags of debris
  • cleaned more than 50 boulevards

“The strength of our One Summer Chicago program is that year over year, our partners citywide come together to do what is best for our youth,” said Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “Not only have has the program given more than 32,000 youth an opportunity to earn and learn, but we hope that the opportunity to make an impact on their community will leave a lasting impression on our participants.”

The City also partnered with United Airlines to bring its United Summer Associates Program (USA) to Chicago. In its inaugural year, the airline hired 20 youth to participate in a paid, eight-week summer internship to work in its core operational functions. The program provided mentorship and exposure to the not-so-known career paths within the airline industry. Chicago joins the airline’s other major hubs in offering the program, including San Francisco, Houston and Newark.

The Citi Foundation is also in its fifth year of collaborating with One Summer Chicago, with funding that has totaled over $4.5 million. The Summer Jobs Connect program, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, provides youth with summer employment and financial education. In addition, Citi Foundation presented a check for $1,062,000 to One Summer Chicago at the breakfast this year.