Wednesday January 23, 2013
Feb. 16 Showcase will connect youth to employers;
Urges participation in SummerWorks Program -- goal is to
double jobs for youth
Mayor Greg Fischer today announced plans for putting at least 800 Louisville young adults, ages 16 – 21, to work this summer by expanding community support of the annual Mayor’s SummerWorks Program. Fischer also said the annual Youth Opportunity Showcase will be held Feb. 16 to connect youth to employers who have part-time and full-time jobs.
“Though the economy is slowly improving, teens and young adults still face a much higher unemployment rate than adults,” Fischer said. “These two programs are part of our laser-like focus on creating jobs and opportunities for youth. A summer job can be the turning point in a young person’s life – way beyond the paycheck they earn.”
Fischer challenged community and business leaders to provide jobs and financial support for the programs. His goal is to double the summer jobs efforts of 2012 and raise $2 million in donations and job commitments to put 800 youth to work this summer.
“Norton Healthcare is honored to once again employ SummerWorks participants this coming summer,” said Stephen A. Williams, president and CEO, Norton Healthcare. “As the 2013 program year champions, we join with Mayor Fischer in encouraging all Louisville-area employers to get involved through financial support or by providing summer employment for SummerWorks participants. Norton Healthcare is nearly doubling its participation by hiring 24 students this summer through the program.”
Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase
The Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase gives teens and young adults a place to meet and talk with employers who will be hiring for summer jobs as well as part-time and some full-time employment. Job seekers can apply for jobs that day, as well as register for the Mayor’s SummerWorks Program and explore internships and volunteer opportunities in Louisville Metro. In addition, representatives from local colleges, universities and career training programs will assist with career planning.
The showcase will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 1 A/B, 221 S. Fourth St. The event is free to employers who have job openings, and there is no cost for job seekers to attend. Last year, more than 1,500 young people attended. Twenty-seven employers had 1,300 jobs to fill.
Young adults interested in applying for jobs should dress for an interview, bring identification – preferably a driver’s license and Social Security card – and have several copies of their resumes to leave with potential employers.
The event is sponsored by KentuckianaWorks, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, the KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center and Louisville Metro Government.
The Mayor’s SummerWorks Program
After taking office in 2011, Mayor Fischer challenged community leaders to help Louisville youth find rewarding summer work through The Mayor’s SummerWorks Program. The first year, 33 employers hired 221 young adults for the seven-week program of summer employment.
In 2012, the mayor urged business and community leaders to double their 2011 financial support. More than $1 million was raised in donations and job commitments. Forty-two public and private employers put 400 youth to work for seven weeks.
This year, Fischer expects to raise $2 million in donations and job commitments to put 800 youth to work. A donation of $2,500 will put a young person to work at a nonprofit agency in the region. A job, paid directly by the employer, provides an employee that can help with special projects or to fill in for permanent employees on vacation.
“These two programs are very important to the mission of JCPS as we seek more opportunities for our students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and beyond the school year,” Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens said. “A summer job helps bring subjects such as algebra, literature, geometry and English alive as they apply what they’ve learned to the world of work. A job connects students’ experiences in the classroom today with what they will experience after graduation as employees.”
“Last year, companies such as GE, Norton Healthcare and Thorntons hired youth and supervisors told us they couldn’t have found such quality employees without this program,” Fischer said. “I want the SummerWorks Program to be a pipeline for youth to work with local employers, learn workplace skills each summer and come back to fill entry-level or higher jobs when they complete school.”
Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, said both the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase and SummerWorks Program have earned good scores from the young people who have obtained summer jobs and from employers who say they have been able to hire good, hard-working employees. “These two programs are putting young people in touch with some of Louisville’s premier employers and offering the teens and young adults a variety of opportunities to increase their work skills and focus on future careers,” he said.
For more information about the upcoming Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase, including an exhibitor application for free booth space, and The Mayor’s SummerWorks Program, call KentuckianaWorks at (502) 574-2500.