LOUISVILLE, Ky. — To the sound of applause, Louisville's mayor stood alongside other local leaders to kick-off "SummerWorks" 2021. The program helps connect young people with summer jobs.
Louisville youth between the ages of 16 and 21 (as of June 1) can be part of the program through YouthBuild. Others involved include the Jefferson County Public Schools District (JCPS), Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI), and more.
Mayor Greg Fischer says it's about teaching the value of earning a paycheck, but is also a key component of achieving racial justice and equity in the city and also curbing gun violence.
"They see young people maturing and learning the value of work and earning a paycheck. That's what SummerWorks is all about," Fischer said. "We've got a lot of work to do to advance racial equity, racial justice in our community, to address gun violence, deal with the impact of poverty and homelessness, and other challenges. And while these are challenges, I mean they also represent the great opportunity we have at this time."
"If you want to help our city move forward ... sign up to employ people this summer through SummerWorks," he added.
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio announced, the district is participating by hiring 150 youth.
"We've had over 1,000 students complete industry certifications during Non-Traditional Instruction. So, we're still doing that hard work," said Dr. Pollio. "And I can't say enough about how important the SummerWorks project is, and us continuing to increase the amount of our students that not only to have jobs but to have jobs within the academy that they are passionate about," he continued, referencing the district's work-ready curriculum to prepare students to go straight into their field of interest.
Waggener High student Sheikhnoor Hussein plans to participate for a third summer, working in IT with Humana.
"I think it just gave me better foresight for what I want to do in the future and gave me a better understanding of the work," Hussein said.
Fischer is urging businesses to hire young people starting now. All youth within the age group can enroll by registering online and completing job readiness training.
SummerWorks has been in operation each summer, for a decade before now.