Overall, more than 150 companies and organizations worked with the city to employ a record number of 16 to 21-year-olds in the Mayor’s SummerWorks program. The program started in 2011 with 200 young people finding employment. This year, 800 of 5,200 youth employed also received additional job skill training through YouthBuild.
“This year’s program was focused on creating deeper, more effective learning experiences for our youth participants, and YouthBuild did a phenomenal job in leading this effort,” Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release.
The program was recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2014 as one of the nation’s best summer jobs programs for young people.
SummerWorks employees work at businesses as varied as the Belle of Louisville, Fourth St. Live and Norton Healthcare. Several of Louisville’s largest companies greatly increased their hiring, including GE Appliances, Ford, Humana and Kindred Healthcare.
A combination of public and private funding sponsors SummerWorks jobs at more than 85 non-profit organizations and city agencies, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Kentucky Shakespeare, the Food Literacy Project, Louisville Metro Police, Louisville Fire, EMS, Metro Parks, Family Health Centers, Americana Community Center and Louisville Grows.
SummerWorks works closely with JCPS to pair students with jobs that match their scholastic interests and that reinforce the skills that they are learning in school. The city and business organizations actively urge businesses in Louisville key sectors like healthcare, logistics and tourism to hire SummerWorks employees.
“We are thrilled to see this initiative grow and evolve in both the quantity of and quality of the job opportunities young people are able to experience,” said Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, which operates the SummerWorks program.
The jobs usually last around seven weeks and both employers and employees are given access to coaches that they can rely on to facilitate the program.