By Special to the AFRO
On March 25, Mayor Brandon M. Scott issued a “call-to-action” to encourage area employers to participate in the City’s summer jobs program, YouthWorks. Mayor Scott was joined by Jason Perkins-Cohen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED), YouthWorks employers, and past and present YouthWorks participants.
“Baltimore youth want to work and are ready to help our local businesses soar. I urge area employers to plan for your future today by hiring through YouthWorks for your summer needs,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “You’re also performing an immense service for our young people. They come out of this program with a better idea of what they want to do with their lives, an appreciation for collaboration, and an understanding that diversity, inclusion, perseverance, and good old-fashioned hard work are the breeding grounds for excellence.”
One of MOED’s signature programs for over 30 years, YouthWorks (YW), offers summer jobs to thousands of Baltimore City residents aged 14–21 annually. The YW Program will operate from July 5th through August 5th, 2022. Participants will be placed in private, nonprofit, and city/state government employers throughout Baltimore in either an in-person or virtual work setting. YouthWorkers will have the opportunity to work five days a week – up to 25 hours per week, earning $12.50 per hour for five weeks.
YouthWorkers are provided financial literacy, career exploration opportunities, academic enrichment, and job readiness skills training while getting paid. By providing them with relevant work experience, YW helps prepare Baltimore’s young people to enter the workforce equipped with job skills and connects them to local-based employers from diverse industries and sectors.
“We want to make sure that every young adult that wants to work doesn’t miss this opportunity, there’s still time for young adults to sign up and launch their career this summer at one of several hundred worksites,” said Jason Perkins-Cohen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.
YouthWorks is one of the nation’s largest and longest-running summer youth employment programs. It has maintained operations despite the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting to virtual programming in 2020 and a hybrid model in 2021. The Program is critical to employing Baltimore City’s youth over the summer and preparing the next generation of workers.
Interested youth are encouraged to apply by submitting an online application via the YouthWorks website youthworks.oedworks.com as new or returning participants. Employers interested in showing support or becoming a worksite can also visit the YouthWorks website for more information.
Last fall, Mayor Brandon M. Scott allocated $8.4 million towards youth employment programs including MOED’s YouthWorks to allow the City to serve youth over the summer and during the school year through the first-ever, year-round YouthWorks Academy which launched this past February.
In addition to funding directly from the city budget, YouthWorks is supported by several area foundations including the Abell Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of America, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and JP Morgan Chase.
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