University of Louisville is among the employers that will participate in the Mayor’s SummerWorks program this year. The program helps local youth, ages 16-21, find employment at various companies and organizations throughout the city and spans seven weeks over the summer.
UofL is among a handful of local employers joining the program for the first time, which means 25 young people will find custodial work and grounds work at the university’s Belknap and Health Science campuses.
Mayor Greg Fischer started the program in 2011 in response to high unemployment rates among youth and the cancellation of a federal program aimed at employing teens. Since then, around 11,600 youths have been employed through the program.
“We expect to directly help 800 youth find employment, and total youth employment at our SummerWorks champion employer partners to exceed 5,000,” Phil Miller, director of communications at KentuckianaWorks, told Insider. This is almost double the number SummerWorks expected to employ in 2016. Employment last summer ended up topping out at 4,200 jobs for youths, according to the Courier-Journal.
Additional new employers for the program include:
- TKT and Associates
- MoneyPath Marketing
- River City Drum Corp
- Kentucky Shakespeare
- 21st Century Parks
- Old National Bank
- D.D. Williamson
- Scoppechio Advertising
- Speed Art Museum
Last year, more than 140 companies and organizations hired SummerWorks youth. Employers are supported by a SummerWorks job coach who works with both the employer and the youth.
Earlier this year, Mayor Fischer announced a “challenge” donation of $250,000 to the SummerWorks program by businessman Paul Diaz and his family. Diaz is a former CEO of Kindred Healthcare and has been a volunteer advisor for the program. A donation of $2,500 funds a summer job at a nonprofit or city agency.
In addition to employing youths, SummerWorks aims to help young people build their professional networks in Louisville. It also helps them flesh out their résumé and get used to the demands of a workplace. It’s not too late to sign up, but those who applied before May 1 will be given priority.