The Greater Baltimore Committee has accepted a challenge to engage businesses and nonprofits in the region in an effort to increase the number of summer jobs available to Baltimore City high school students.
The GBC is reaching out to its members to help Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon’s YouthWorks summer jobs initiative. “Summer jobs are everyone’s business” is the theme for Mayor Dixon’s YouthWorks campaign. This year’s goal is to find summer employment for 6,500 young people, an increase of 1,500 over last year.
“There are few things more positive that the business community can do than to find summer jobs for our city’s young people,” said GBC President & CEO Donald C. Fry. “This worthwhile initiative not only gives young people meaningful ways to earn money during the summer, but it exposes them to the world of employment opportunity that exists in the private sector.”
Mayor Dixon is reaching out to the business community to become involved in identifying enough job opportunities and allocating sufficient funds so that every Baltimore City youth who wants a summer job will have that opportunity, said Alice D. M. Cole, project director, career development services, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development at a February 5 GBC Education Committee Meeting.
There are two ways the business community can partner with Mayor Dixon in this effort. Companies or organizations that have a job suitable for a high school junior or senior can hire a YouthWorks young adult for a six-week period from June 23 to August 1, 2008. The other option is to provide funding to sponsor a YouthWorker. The cost per participant for a six-week summer job is $1,250.
YouthWorks will not only provide a positive summer activity, it will also benefit youth by allowing them to explore careers and learn about various industries, said Cole. There is a direct correlation between having as many young adults and teens working in the summer jobs program and public safety involvement in Baltimore City, she said.
YouthWorks participants must complete a pre-employment training seminar either through their school or the City, which will provide them with job-readiness. The training program combined with a work schedule of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will assist young workers to begin to understand the employment basics, including timeliness, proper attire, communication skills, independence, and reliability.
For more information about the YouthWorks program, contact Liz Pettengill, GBC vice president, at 410-727-2820, x41. Contributions can be sent to the GBC Foundation at 111 South Calvert Street, Suite 1700, Baltimore, MD 21202 to the attention of Greg Herbert, Director of Finances and Business Services.