Economic Development Newsroom

Mayor's SummerWorks Program Produces Jobs for Youth

Friday June 27, 2014

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville’s business community has made the Mayor’s SummerWorks program a success for the fourth year by putting more than 2,000 young adults, ages 16-21, in summer jobs. Fischer set a 2,000-job goal for 2014 at the end of last year’s program that put more than 1,500 young adults to work.

“The support of local businesses is the lifeblood of the SummerWorks program,” Fischer said. “When federal dollars for youth summer jobs ended four years ago, the business community stepped up with funding and the job commitments to help us create a local response to providing critical job experiences for young people. This initiative is making a difference in the futures of many young adults in our community.”

Fischer also received a check for $100,000 from JPMorgan Chase in Kentucky, to fund jobs for low-income youth participating in the SummerWorks program.

“We are excited to support the Mayor’s SummerWorks Program and put 50 young people in jobs at local nonprofits,” said Paul Costel, market president for Chase in Kentucky. “We encourage other employers in the community to become involved in the SummerWorks program. The success of these young people will make a better future for the entire Louisville community.”

JPMorgan Chase joins a list of individuals, businesses, foundations and Louisville Metro Government that provided $471,000 to place nearly 200 youth in jobs with local nonprofit and government agencies.

In addition to the JPMorgan Chase donation, contributions totaling $171,000 came from the Gheens Foundation, another $100,000 donor, and the Council for Opportunity in Education, the PNC Foundation and others. The Mayor and the Metro Council provided another $200,000 for the program in the current city budget.

The money raised created summer jobs at nonprofit organizations and public agencies including Americana Community Center, Boys and Girls Clubs in the Newburg, Parkland and Shawnee neighborhoods, Exploited Children’s Help Organization, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville Metro Office of Innovation and Metro Parks. Some funding is being used to provide job coaches and workforce education training for more than 500 low-income youth this summer.

Companies that have directly hired youth this summer include Baptist Healthcare, Centerplate, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, GlowTouch Technologies, Integrity Staffing (for Amazon), Kentucky Kingdom, Kroger, Malone Staffing, Norton Healthcare, Sears, Thorntons, Walmart, Wendy’s and YMCA of Greater Louisville.

Young people employed through SummerWorks are on the job for at least 30 hours a week for seven weeks. Some youth obtained jobs through the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase and began working before the end of the school year. Others began working May 27 and will finish their SummerWorks employment July 11. Another group of youth started working June 16 and will finish Aug. 1.

Jefferson County Public Schools is a key partner in preparing students for summer jobs and careers through workforce-readiness training. JCPS and the Board of Education have hired SummerWorks youth this summer in subsidized and unsubsidized positions.

“I would like to thank all of the generous partners who are making the Mayor’s SummerWorks program more successful every year. We are excited that so many of our students are gaining confidence and experience in the professional world,” JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said. “SummerWorks has become a vital program away from the classroom that helps our students think about careers and, ultimately, commit to graduating prepared to reach their full potential.”

The Mayor’s SummerWorks program is led by KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board and an agency of Louisville Metro Government, in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education through the Kentucky Youth Career Center.