Economic Development Newsroom

Mayor Sets Goal of 2,000 Summer Jobs for Youth

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Urges businesses to support award-winning SummerWorks program

Mayor Greg Fischer today challenged businesses and organizations to put 2,000 youth in jobs this summer by supporting his SummerWorks program. The program, recognized as one of the nation’s best summer jobs program last week by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, provided jobs and training for 1,500 youth last summer.

“Though the economy has improved, teens and young adults still face a much higher unemployment rate than adults,” Fischer said. “A summer job can be the turning point in a young person’s life – with a value and impact way beyond the paycheck they earn.”

Fischer urged companies and other groups to either directly hire youth this summer or make a donation to create jobs at nonprofit or city agencies. Companies supporting the effort this year include Thornton’s, Norton Healthcare, Kroger, Malone Staffing, Adecco, Centerplate and Kroger.

Reacting to the elimination of federal funding for summer jobs, Fischer launched SummerWorks in 2011, shortly after taking office. In its first year, the effort placed about 200 young people in summer jobs. The next year it doubled to 400 and this past summer more than 1,500 youth were employed.

Fischer said more companies are discovering the value in finding and hiring young talent for the summer. Many youth placed in jobs through SummerWorks have gained full-time positions with the same company or others. For those who can’t hire for the summer, a donation of $2,000 will put a young person to work at a nonprofit agency in the region.

Young people wanting summer work and employers looking to hire should participate in the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase on Feb. 15 where young people and employers can meet and talk. In addition to applying for a job through the SummerWorks program, youth ages 16-21 can explore internships and volunteer opportunities. Representatives from local colleges, universities and career training programs will also assist with career planning.

The showcase is 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 1 A/B, 221 S. Fourth St. The event is free for both employers and job seekers. Last year, more than 2,000 young people attended. Employers expected at this year’s event include T.J. Maxx, UPS, Baptist Healthcare, Home City Ice, YMCA of Greater Louisville and Walmart.

Youth planning to attend the showcase must register by Feb. 12 with KentuckianaWorks at to be admitted to the event.

Young adults interested in applying for jobs at the showcase should dress for an interview, bring identification – preferably a driver’s license and Social Security card – and have several copies of their resumes to leave with potential employers.

The event is sponsored by KentuckianaWorks, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, the KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center and Louisville Metro Government.

Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks, said both the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Showcase and SummerWorks program have earned good scores from the young people who have obtained summer jobs and from employers who say they have been able to hire good, hard-working employees. “These two programs are putting young people in touch with some of Louisville’s premier employers and offering the teens and young adults a variety of opportunities to increase their work skills and focus on future careers,” he said.

The SummerWorks program is led by KentuckianaWorks in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education through the KentuckianaWorks Youth Career Center.

For more information about the showcase, including an exhibitor application for free booth space, and the SummerWorks program, call KentuckianaWorks at (502) 574-2500.