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More Chicago Summer Jobs Available

Posted on April 30, 2009

A city program will help create thousands of Chicago summer jobs.

The Youth Ready Chicago program will provide summer employment for about 19,000 youths between the ages of 14 and 24. The deadline to apply for the jobs is May 29.

“This year, because of the nation’s economic crisis, for some, these summer jobs are more important than ever,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said in a press release. “This year, having a summer job could make the difference between a family being able to pay their bills, or not.

The jobs will include 2,000 full and part-time positions with the City of Chicago and its sister agencies; 3,900 jobs with the Chicago Park District; 1,700 jobs with the Chicago Public Schools system and 4,300 jobs with After School Matters, as well as positions with the city’s private sector, not-for-profit and community organization partners.

About 7,200 positions will be supported by a $17 million investment from the Workforce Investment Act funding from the federal economic stimulus. The money is meant to provide training opportunities to Chicago youth who are most in need, including those who are homeless, pregnant or parenting and foster children.

The federal program also places a strong emphasis on assisting veterans who may be struggling to find employment after returning from military service. The city receives an average of more than 40,000 applications each year, almost twice as many as the number of jobs that are usually available. This year Chicago is able to offer about 650 more jobs than last year.

“It’s a sign of just how tight the economy is because this summer we’re receiving federal money we didn’t have last year to help provide summer jobs,” Daley said.

Businesses also will have the opportunity to participate in the summer jobs program through the Corporate Initiative, which will pair a company with a young person who has been pre-screened based on employer criteria. Also, at no cost to the employer, the youths will be instructed in proper workplace behavior and provided with ongoing mentoring.

“This is a great opportunity for businesses to help their city and to help themselves,” Daley said. “Most jobs are in the private sector and today I also want to urge our business leaders to strengthen their efforts to provide jobs for young people.”

Companies that are unable to hire a summer worker can become a corporate sponsor of the program for a donation of $2,400, which will support a summer job at a community-based organization that could not otherwise afford to hire someone.

“Summer jobs are a critical investment in the future of our city,” Daley said. “It’s a short-term way to give many of our young people something much better to do than just hang out. It puts money in their pocket and keeps them out of harm’s way.

“In the long term, we know that young people who are employed today are more likely to work next year, earn more and make an easier transition into the workplace after graduation from school,” Daley added.