Mayor Rawlings-Blake, GBC President Fry Encourage Private Sector to “Hire One Youth”

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Caron A. Brace
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mayor Rawlings-Blake, GBC President Fry Encourage Private Sector to “Hire One Youth”

More Than 90 Businesses Have Committed to Hire Nearly 500 Teens, Young Adults

BALTIMORE, Md. (May 13, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry, Wells Fargo Regional President Andrew Bertamini, and others to encourage private-sector employers to join the YouthWorks “Hire One Youth” campaign.

“With the nation’s unemployment rate for youth at its highest level since World War II, it’s imperative that government, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and communities join together to find innovative solutions to connect our young people to early work experiences and provide them with the necessary tools to enter the workforce,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “My YouthWorks Hire One Youth campaign is a way for Baltimore’s private sector to play a significant role in the development of our future workforce.”

As Baltimore City’s long-running, nationally recognized YouthWorks summer jobs program prepares to begin on June 23, more than 90 local companies and nonprofit organizations have already committed to hire nearly 500 teens and young adults through the campaign. This includes more than 200 hires by The Johns Hopkins Hospital & Health System and The Johns Hopkins University, long-term partners of YouthWorks.

For more than 30 years, YouthWorks has connected young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to summer work experiences with public and private-sector employers throughout the city. Operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), YouthWorks places approximately 5,000 city youth in summer jobs each year at a rate of $1,300 per participant.

Through these early employment opportunities, youth become familiar with the work environment, become better prepared to meet employers’ expectations, and gain exposure to career opportunities in Baltimore’s high-growth industries.

In 2012, Mayor Rawlings-Blake, in partnership with a team of local business leaders led by Fry, launched Hire One Youth as a component of YouthWorks to encourage Baltimore City employers to join city government in creating valuable summer employment opportunities for the city’s teens and young adults. Hire One Youth employers have the flexibility to hire participants beyond the six-week summer minimum, and many have chosen to hire them as regular full- or part-time employees throughout the year.

“Through Hire One Youth, young people are gaining real-world work experiences in high-growth industry sectors in Baltimore and making genuine contributions to our local businesses,” said Fry, who has served as Hire One Youth Campaign chair since 2012. “There is still time for employers to join Hire One Youth and add job-ready young adults to their 2014 summer staffs.”

Wells Fargo Bank, has been a steadfast supporter of Hire One Youth since its inception. Bertamini has spearheaded banking and finance industry support of and involvement in the campaign since 2012. The company has hired three Hire One Youth participants each summer since that time, and has already committed to hiring three youths in 2014. Two Hire One Youth hires that Wells Fargo has retained as permanent bank employees—Amber Barner, 21, a teller at the Parkville branch, and Reshaud Dubose, 19, a teller at the St. Paul Street location—spoke at the press conference.

Governor Martin O’Malley has been a consistent and strong supporter of YouthWorks. This year, his administration allocated more than $1.38 million in state funds to create YouthWorks jobs. This state funding, combined with a $1.5 million investment from Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore City Council, will create more than 2,200 YouthWorks jobs this summer. In addition, the Maryland State Department of Human Resources and the Baltimore City Department of Social Services provide an annual $1 million grant to YouthWorks, which will create jobs for 769 teens who receive Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), live in homes that receive TCA, and/or live in foster care.

“Baltimore’s YouthWorks is a model summer youth employment program for cities and municipalities across the country,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director, The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Not only has Baltimore continued to put thousands of young city residents to work each summer despite the loss of federal funding in 2000, but Mayor Rawlings-Blake has demonstrated her dedication to expanding opportunities for youth by engaging the private sector and encouraging them to invest in the city’s future workforce.”

Augmenting the strong public support it receives, YouthWorks relies upon generous contributions from private foundations, businesses, and individual donors to fund the positions of thousands of additional participants. YouthWorks has already received significant donations from American Trading & Production Corporation (Atapco); AT&T; Constellation; Domino Foods/American Sugar Refining. Inc.; The Bank of America Charitable Foundation; and The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to support its 2014 program.

MOED is still seeking additional Hire One Youth employers for 2014. Businesses interested in joining Hire One Youth can complete the online form at www.baltimorecity.gov/hireoneyouth or call 410-396-JOBS (5627).

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