Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Expansion of Summer Jobs Program for Baltimore City Youth


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Wednesday, June 24, 2015


With help of OneBaltimore, YouthWorks secures funding and placement to meet goal of 8,000 summer youth jobs

BALTIMORE, Md. (June 24, 2015)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined OneBaltimore Chairman Michael Cryor, representatives of the Mayor's Office of Employment Development (MOED), and leaders of the business and philanthropic communities to announce the City achieved its goal to provide summer jobs to the nearly 8,000 young people registered for Youth Works, the City summer jobs program.

The annual goal is to offer YouthWorks positions to 5,000 youth. However, in 2015, nearly 8,000 young people completed the YouthWorks registration process. OneBaltimore announced that its first major task would be to help raise enough funds and create enough job positions so that all 8,000 will be offered a paid summer experience.

"I have always been committed to expanding opportunities for our young people. I am beyond excited that our local foundations and businesses, state and federal partners, and community are willing to commit to our youth," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "The City has been through a rough patch over the last couple of months. Today's announcement is proof of the resiliency of our community and it shows the strength of our City when we work collaboratively."

YouthWorks is Baltimore City’s nationally-recognized summer jobs program for residents between the ages of 14 and 21. Each year through YouthWorks, MOED connects thousands of teens and young adults to meaningful summer work experiences throughout the city. It costs $1,500 to fund one young person in a YouthWorks summer job. The Mayor’s Hire One Youth campaign recruits private companies to provide summer job opportunities.

After recognizing there were a record number of applicants seeking job placement, OneBaltimore— the public-private initiative to support the ongoing efforts to rebuild communities and neighborhoods in Baltimore -- began an aggressive campaign to seek additional funding to support the summer jobs program.

"As our first big task under the OneBaltimore effort, we are so pleased that we were able to help deliver on this commitment to the youth of our City,” said OneBaltimore Chairman Michael Cryor. “We know that the community, business and philanthropic support that stepped up for Youth Works will help to ensure that OneBaltimore is successful in achieving our even more ambitious goals that lie ahead.”

The Mayor's summer work program received funding from multiple sources including City government agencies, private businesses, and non-profit organizations.  Eight city government agencies provided funding to support the program. Those agencies are: Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Housing Authority, Baltimore City Police Department, Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, Baltimore City Council President’s Office, Baltimore City Council Sharon Middleton District #6, and Baltimore City Council Helen Holton District #8.

The private and non-profit organizations that made the most significant contributions include: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Prince and the New Power Generation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Abell Foundation, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore. There are also more than 100 individuals who made significant contributions to support the program.

"Despite recent economic growth, teens consistently have the highest unemployment rates of any group that the Department of Labor tracks.  For this reason, it's imperative that companies in Baltimore support programs that hire and train the youth in our community," said Dave Millman, Bank of America, Maryland State President. "Providing financial education, along with a paycheck, is an important strategy to helping young people succeed. That's why the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has partnered with Mayor Stephanie-Rawlings Blake's Office of Employment Development to provide paid jobs for teens as part of the administration's YouthWorks summer jobs program."

Despite the elimination of the stand-alone federal funding for summer jobs in 2000, Baltimore City has continued to operate one of the strongest summer jobs programs in the nation. The Rawlings-Blake Administration believes investing in the development of workplace skills for young citizens is a wise choice for the City and economy, now and in the future.

"When businesses hire one or two youths during the summer they are providing jobs that will inspire young people by giving them a glimpse into their future as productive employees," said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Hire One Youth chairman. "Hire One Youth is about the promise that Baltimore's young people provide to employers in the city."

Mayor Rawlings-Blake is also working closely with Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, and Operation Hope by adding more volunteers to conduct financial education seminars for all participants. Additionally, the City has partnered with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and is offering passes for free public transportation for YouthWorks and HireOne Youth Participants to get back and forth to their summer jobs.  The MTA is providing a limited number of passes for both phases of the 2015 YouthWorks program for participants who submit the required paperwork. The passes provide unlimited rides on buses, the Light Rail, and the Metro subway.

“After our city's recent unrest, many who care about providing valuable opportunities for Baltimore's  future workforce came forward to offer assistance," said Mayor's Office of Employment Development Director Jason Perkins-Cohen. "As a result of these genuine commitments from the philanthropic community, businesses, local and state government, community groups and individuals ¬ as well as my staff's tireless efforts ¬ 3,000 more young people will have a summer job this year."

YouthWorks will run for five weeks – the first session will operate from June 29 through July 31; and a second, five-week session will begin on July 13.

Some of the participants in the program will be assigned to a diverse array of worksites. Some of those worksites include: Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health Systems and Johns Hopkins University; Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel; Mercy Medical Center; Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); Enoch Pratt Free Library; Law firm of Schlachman, Belsky and Weiner; Space Telescope Science Institute; Baltimore Sun Media Group; Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Baltimore City Police Department; Whiting Turner; and the  National Aquarium.

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