City looking to put youth to work this summer

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Young people age 14 to 21 are encouraged to apply now for the more than 14,000 jobs that are expected to be available to youth this summer. Applications are being accepted through June 3.

Young people age 14 to 21 are encouraged to apply now for the more than 14,000 jobs that are expected to be available to youth this summer. Applications are being accepted through June 3.

“Young people are looking for ways to grow and be productive during the summer months, and a job provides an alternative to spending time in the streets. Jobs teach responsibility and keep our children out of harm’s way,” out-going Mayor Richard M. Daley said.

The Youth Ready Chicago, as the summer employment program is officially referred to, includes paid internships and apprenticeships, in addition to traditional employment, in the public and private sectors.

City agencies such as the Chicago Park District, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Schools are among the employers for the summer jobs program. And this summer, the city is also rolling out other opportunities available through the program.

The New Museum Internship Program will afford about 35 young workers the opportunity to intern at the city’s museums while the Community–Based Employment Opportunities allow the city’s non-profit, small business and other entities to participate in the employment program.

Also, the city announced a mini-grant program where youth could be paid to work on neighborhood-base projects.

“We have many partners in the private sector who are strongly committed to the Youth Ready Chicago program,” Daley said.

The new programs are funded, in part, with $1.6 million in parking meter infrastructure funds, according to city officials. Last year, federal stimulus dollars helped the city to employ some 18,000 young people. But that money is no longer available, the city announced.

Still, Daley wants youth to have jobs this summer.

“The bottom line is that we need everyone’s help to keep our kids occupied in a positive way this summer,” he said.

Young people can apply for a summer job by filling out the application at www.youthreadychicago.org. Businesses can also visit the web site to sponsor or learn about employing a young person for the summer.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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