Economic Development Newsroom

Mayor Fischer Focuses on Youth Summer Jobs

Monday January 30, 2012

Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth today announced plans to put Louisville young adults, ages 16 – 21, to work this summer in meaningful jobs paying at or above minimum wage. Two programs, the Youth Opportunity Showcase and KentuckianaWorks: SummerWorks2012, will help youth find summer jobs in a tough teenage job market with unemployment around 25 percent.

“Both programs require support from the Louisville business community to be a success,” Fischer said. “In turn, both programs will benefit the Louisville business community by providing energetic and talented young employees who want to work.”

“The Showcase is ideal for employers that need to hire large numbers of employees for the summer,” Fischer said. “SummerWorks2012 is an opportunity for the community – business leaders, individuals, foundations and companies – to support summer jobs for young people through financial donations or by hiring one or two young people.”

“The showcase gives young workers a head start in the summer job hunt, which is crucial at a time when youth unemployment is high,” Congressman Yarmuth said. “They can see a variety of job opportunities in one place, and they can talk directly with business owners who are ready to hire. It’s a win-win that will benefit our community and strengthen our local economy.”

Youth Opportunity Showcase

The seventh annual Youth Opportunity Showcase gives teens and young adults, ages 16-21, a place to meet and talk with employers who will be hiring for summer jobs – including

Zappos, BB&T, Belle of Louisville, Fifth Third Bank, Home Depot, Home Instead, YMCA, Metro Parks and Sodexo. Job seekers can apply for jobs that day, as well as learn about the SummerWorks program, internships and volunteer opportunities. Representatives from local colleges, universities and career training programs will be available to help with career planning.

The showcase is Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 1 A/B, 221 S. Fourth St. The event is free to employers, as well as job seekers. Last year, more than 2,000 young people attended.

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 resume.

This year, the KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center and its partners are offering a free Workforce Education Training workshop to prepare youth for the job search. The two-hour workshop provides tips on dressing for success, completing a job application, communicating their transferrable skills on a resume and preparing for a job interview.

The showcase is sponsored by KentuckianaWorks, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training and Louisville Metro Government.

KentuckianaWorks: SummerWorks2012
After taking office last year, Mayor Fischer challenged community leaders to help youth find summer jobs through the KentuckianaWorks: SummerWorks2011 program. Individuals, businesses, foundations and the Metro Council provided donations – resulting in 33 employers hiring 221 young adults for the seven-week program.

“We want SummerWorks2012 to employ more young people and involve more local employers – so I’m challenging the business community to increase its financial support,” Fischer said. “Support for this program not only helps a young person, it helps strengthen our future workforce and economy.”

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.

Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, said both programs have gotten good scores from young people hired 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 opportunities to increase their work skills and focus on future careers.”

For more information on the Youth Opportunity Showcase, including an exhibitor application for free booth space, the Workforce Education Training workshops, and KentuckianaWorks: SummerWorks2012, call KentuckianaWorks at (502) 574-2500 or visit