Thursday January 23, 2014
Mayor’s SummerWorks program cited by U.S. Conference of Mayors
Mayor Greg Fischer’s SummerWorks program – which landed jobs and training for 1,500 youth last summer – received a top award today from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The program, which Fischer started in 2011, won first place in the first annual National Summer Youth Jobs Challenge.
In presenting Fischer with the award in Washington, D.C., the mayor’s conference cited the fast growth of the program and the mayor’s successful outreach to the private sector.
“Giving young people summer work, perhaps their very first job experience, can be life changing for the youth and their family,” Fischer said. “We saw the critical need in Louisville and, with the help of local businesses, we did something about it.”
Reacting to the elimination of federal funding for summer jobs, Fischer launched SummerWorks shortly after taking office, urging local companies and organizations to hire young people for summer work or give donations to create jobs. In its first year, the effort placed about 200 young people, ages 16-21, in summer jobs. The next year it doubled to 400 and this past summer more than 1,500 youth were trained and employed.
Fischer has set a goal of 2,000 jobs for youth this next summer. Businesses or organizations can join the effort by contacting Michael Gritton at KentuckianaWorks, the agency overseeing the program, at 574-2500.
The award is the third major honor Louisville has received in recent years from the USCM. Louisville was named the Most Livable City by the organization in 2012. That same year the city earned the first Childhood Obesity Prevention Award for creating and expanding fresh-produce markets and other efforts to bring healthier foods and exercise to urban neighborhoods.