Economic Development Newsroom

SummerWorks Exceeds Fundraising Goal

Wednesday June 27, 2012

“Louisville businesses, nonprofit foundations, community leaders and Metro Council have helped SummerWorks2012 exceed my expectations with more than $1 million in financial support and job commitments,” Mayor Greg Fischer announced today during a press conference at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.

“Providing meaningful jobs for our young people is one of the most important steps we can take as a community,” Fischer said. “It can change the future of that young person – and it’s also critically important to our city’s future. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped make this summer jobs program a success this year.”

This is the second year that Mayor Fischer has reached out to business and community leaders for help in funding the summer jobs program. Mayor Fischer set two ambitious goals for SummerWorks 2012: 1) to raise more than $1 million in funding and job commitments from participating companies; and 2) to help at least 400 young people find work through the program.

Exceeding $1 million in donations and job commitments for SummerWorks2012 doubles what was raised last year, and 288 youth are working so far with more than 40 employers throughout Louisville. More youth will begin work this week and next week on the road to the 400 jobs goal.

“We’re on the Norton Healthcare downtown campus today, because 13 SummerWorks participants are working for Norton this summer,” Mayor Fischer said. A total of 97 young adults are working for and being paid by private employers this summer – a significant change from previous summer jobs efforts. In addition to Norton Healthcare, other private businesses hiring SummerWorks2012 participants include Thornton’s, General Electric, Churchill Downs, Ford, Fourth Street Live!, Glow Touch, Hosparus, Houston-Johnson, Kroger, Louisville Zoo, Republic Bank and Riverside Parking Garage. Kindred Healthcare is hiring four SummerWorks 2012 participants and pledged $90,000 to the program for a total contribution of $100,000.

SummerWorks2012 participants work for seven weeks during the summer. Participants also will be paid to attend Ice House Entrepreneurship training to learn about creating a business, thinking like an entrepreneur and networking with others.

“Our young people have the opportunity to gain broad experience and exposure in many areas in the healthcare field in addition to their training at the Ice House Entrepreneurship program,” said Tony Bohn, chief human resources officer for Norton Heathcare. “Our hope is that all of our summer employees will want to join Norton Healthcare as fulltime employees once they have completed their education.”

Two summer employees at Norton Healthcare, Jordan Daugherty and Cherese Bates talked about their summer work experiences. Daugherty works at Kosair Children’s Hospital and will be a freshman nursing student at Morehead State University in the fall. Bates, a junior graphic design major at Campbellsville University, is working at Norton Brownsboro Hospital.

“We are always looking for ways to extend learning for our students as we have a limited number of hours and days with them in the classroom,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens. “A summer job helps students retain the information they have learned during the year and make stronger connections between schoolwork and life.”

Money was donated by Mr. and Mrs. David Jones Sr., The Humana Foundation, Matthew and Brooke Barzun, the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation, Yum! Brands Foundation, PNC Bank Foundation, General Electric Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Bidner and the James Graham Brown Foundation. Mayor Fischer and the Metro Council also appropriated $100,000 for the program in the Louisville Metro Budget. An anonymous contribution helped Mayor Fischer exceed the $1 million goal.

These funds will provide jobs for approximately 191 youth at local nonprofit organizations such as the American Red Cross, Americana Community Center, Bates Community Development Corp., Cable Church Potter’s House, Dress for Success, Highland Park Community Development Corp., Liggin Foundation, Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville Metro Animal Services, Louisville Science Center, Louisville Regional Airport Authority, Metro Parks, Metro Public Works, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Volunteers of America, West End Baptist Church and YouthBuild.

Under the Mayor’s leadership last year, $500,000 was raised for SummerWorks2011, and 33 employers hired 221 young adults as part of SummerWorks2011. Before 2011, Greater Louisville summer jobs programs relied primarily on money from federal and state agencies, which has now dried up.

The SummerWorks2012 program is led by KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education through the KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center.