YouthWorks 2004 Seeks Funding and Summer Jobs for Baltimore’s Youth
Tuesday Feb 17th, 2004
YouthWorks 2004 Seeks Funding and Summer Jobs
Baltimore, MD – Mayor Martin O’Malley’s YouthWorks program has secured employment opportunities for more than 5,500 Baltimore youth during each of the past two summers. Last year the program raised approximately $5 million. The drive to raise funding and jobs for summer 2004 began in the fall and recently intensified.
“Late winter and early spring are critical times for us,” says Jim Hamlin, YouthWorks chair and president and managing member of BriaBran, LLC. “We are sending letters, making phone calls, connecting with the media and presenting to the public as often as possible to reinforce the importance of this program and to let area businesses and organizations know that we need their support. It costs approximately $1,000 to support a youth in a six-week work experience.
“A lot of talk lately has rightly focused on the crisis with the city schools,” Hamlin continues, “but we also need to remember that young people spend more time out of the classroom than in it. Summer employment is an excellent opportunity for youth to explore career options and better understand how their schoolwork relates to future career and personal success. On the other side, YouthWorks allows businesses to help shape their future workforce and customer base.”
YouthWorks is coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and connects youth ages 14 to 21 to public and private sector jobs. Older youth participating in the program, those age 16 and older, must complete work readiness training (or be certified by their schools as work ready) prior to an annual Career Fair where they can meet with employers and interview for jobs. “The whole experience,” says Alice Cole, director of career development services for the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, “is designed to help foster pride and commitment. We want to inspire these young people to value their work experiences and the life experiences they will gain from working,”
Last year, 5,797 youth were provided with job opportunities through YouthWorks. Students worked in myriad industries such as telecommunications, retail, law, and hospitality. Other participants operated their own businesses or attended special classes at participating colleges.
For more information about supporting YouthWorks as a contributor or employer, please call 410-396-6722.