YouthWorks meets goal of summer jobs offered to 8,000 youth

BALTIMORE, Md. (June 27, 2016) - For the second consecutive year, at least 8,000 Baltimore City youth and young adults, ages 14-21, will be offered a five-week YouthWorks summer employment opportunity. Today, approximately 6,000 youth started working in a wide variety of industries, including health care, hospitality/tourism, finance, construction, law and government jobs. A second five-week cycle will begin employing additional youth on July 11, 2016, bringing the total number of worksites to more than 900.

YouthWorks is one of the most successful and enduring summer jobs programs in the nation, annually offering jobs to at least 5,000 young people. Its popularity made it a natural focus for expansion after the unrest in Baltimore in April 2015. In six short weeks, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development coordinated additional support to meet its increased placement goal by 60 percent and offered 8,000 young people summer employment.

Recognizing the great benefits to the YouthWorkers, the organizations that employ them, and Baltimore’s communities, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake set a 2016 goal to repeat the success of 2015.

“Last year at this time, Baltimore City was flooded with offers of support to increase its services to young people, and it made sense to build upon our strong YouthWorks program,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Even though we knew it would take a greater effort this year to sustain that support, I didn’t want to offer fewer jobs. And thanks to impressive backing led by our business and philanthropic communities to complement local and state funding, at least 8,000 youth and young adults will be offered summer employment.”

Funding for YouthWorks highlights its excellent public-private partnership with financial support provided in thirds from local and state government, businesses, and foundations and individuals.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided significant support by contributing $500,000 and offering two additional matching grants based upon donations from the private sector. The first, a one-to-one match of $500,000, was met quickly spurring the foundation to provide an additional $250,000 if twice that amount would be provided by the private sector. Thanks to many in the business community – including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America and T. Rowe Price – these matching funds were raised, bringing the total commitment through this initiative to $2,250,000.

"This effort demonstrates that when Baltimore's public, private and nonprofit sectors work together, we can help young people get the foothold they need to gain positive experiences that can benefit them for a lifetime," said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. "We are pleased to see this type of collective action working so well to put young people on a path to success."

"Summer jobs offer more than a paycheck – they open doors to opportunities that have tremendous impact on the lives of young people who live in poverty and lack a pathway to a successful future," said Peter Scher, chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region, JPMorgan Chase & Co. "Baltimore's YouthWorks is helping young people gain valuable hands-on experience and explore rewarding careers. JPMorgan Chase sees great value in YouthWorks, and we are proud to contribute $175,000 to help the city reach its goal of providing summer jobs to 8,000 Baltimore youth."

"Bank of America is committed to supporting programs that hire and train Baltimore-area youth," said Dave Millman, Bank of America, Maryland State President. "Providing a paycheck, along with financial literacy, is critical to helping our young people succeed. That's why the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has partnered with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Office of Employment Development again this year to provide paid jobs for teens as part of the administration's expanded YouthWorks summer jobs program."

In addition to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and T. Rowe Price, the following private and non-profit organizations have committed contributions or are employing many young people through Hire One Youth – YouthWorks’ private-sector component – at costs of $25,000 or more: The Johns Hopkins Health System and University, Stephen & Renee Bisciotti Foundation, Sagamore Development Company LLC, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, MedStar Health, University of Maryland Medical Center & System, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, United Way of Central Maryland, Maryland Transit Administration, BGE, Comcast Corporation, and Venable LLP.

The Obama administration designated Baltimore as one of 15 Summer Impact Hubs, helping mobilize public and private support. In addition, it identified more than $100,000 in funding, including through the Department of Energy, to employ young people in YouthWorks jobs.

“We are happy to be part of a city-wide effort to help 8,000 young people find meaningful employment during the summer, helping build job pathways for the future,” said Nate Loewentheil, the leader of the Obama administration’s Taskforce for Baltimore City.

In addition to funding provided by local and state governments, at least eight government agencies are providing jobs and paying the salaries directly from their budgets.

“This is a remarkable example of what can be achieved when all sectors of our community come together to support a worthy initiative like YouthWorks,” said Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. “We all can relate to the significance summer jobs have made in our lives and know that these are worthy investments in our city’s future.”

Many YouthWorks assignments in high-growth industries are offered to older youth who are matched to jobs that reflect their career interests. Almost half of the YouthWorks participants are 14 or 15 years old and employed for the first time. Many are gaining business and office skills, while others are helping keep Baltimore's parks, playgrounds and open spaces clean by beautifying city neighborhoods and participating in community recycling activities.

In addition to the traditional summer job worksites, this year YouthWorks is partnering with Family League of Baltimore and the International Youth Foundation to bring Baltimore’s Community Schools on-board as worksites for 14- and 15-year-olds. Youth will participate in a hybrid workplace program that includes learning workplace readiness, core life skills and project-focused work for the school or the surrounding community.

"Family League is proud to join the Mayor's Office of Employment Development and the International Youth Foundation in leading an innovative pilot project that leverages the resources of Baltimore's Community Schools on behalf of hundreds of youths and adults eager for workforce training, on-the-job experience, and the compensation that goes with the commitment," said Family League president and CEO Jonathon Rondeau. "Many families and their communities will benefit from the experience and the work taking place – from planting community gardens to sharing information on Pre-K enrollment."

YouthWorks 2016 will run for five weeks in two cycles (June 27 – July 29 and July 11 – August 12). For more information visit moed.baltimorecity.gov.

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