Mayor Fischer and local leaders kick off SummerWorks 2021
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) President and CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, and other community partners at the YouthBuild Louisville headquarters downtown to announce the start of SummerWorks 2021.
“As we kick off the 11th season of SummerWorks, it’s amazing to see the impact this program has made and the resilience it has shown,” said the Mayor, who praised the SummerWorks team for finding innovative ways to operate despite the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19. “This year, we have an opportunity to keep building on our strong foundation to make it the best season yet for youth and employers.”
The Mayor drew attention to a new set of online tools available to SummerWorks participants this season, which will make it easier than ever for youth to get prepared for and connected to good summer jobs. He also highlighted the partnerships SummerWorks has forged in recent years with the Academies of Louisville at JCPS and GLI, who have embraced the common goal of building the nation’s leading talent pipeline.
“JCPS values our partnership with SummerWorks and the hundreds of students who have received real, paying jobs through this program,” Pollio said. “We’re looking forward to the expansion of our partnership this summer.”
"GLI is always proud to support SummerWorks and its impact on Louisville’s youth,” said Davasher-Wisdom. “Our youth are the future of our workforce, and it is imperative we continue investing in their learning and education. These opportunities are also important to keeping talent in our city and growing a well-rounded homegrown workforce.”
One example of a young person who has benefited is Sheikhnoor Hussein, a student in the IT and Law Academy at Waggener High School, who has worked in the IT Department at Humana the past two summers. Sheikhnoor, whose family immigrated to the United States from Somalia, said his SummerWorks experience at Humana gave him valuable professional experience and improved his collaboration skills. “SummerWorks also helped me see what kinds of careers and jobs might be out there for me,” he said.
Promoting equity will continue to be a priority for SummerWorks in 2021. Youth applicants who face barriers and come from disadvantaged backgrounds are prioritized in the job-matching process to ensure that those who are most in need of a good summer job have a better chance of landing one. SummerWorks is also continuing to sponsor jobs and work-learn experiences at nonprofits and agencies across the community that share this commitment to equity.
All Louisville youth who are between the ages of 16-21 (as of June 1) are eligible to enroll in SummerWorks. Once they register online and complete a new virtual job readiness training course, youth will be able to apply for job opportunities geared toward them.
SummerWorks, which was founded by Mayor Fischer in 2011 after federal funding for summer jobs was eliminated, has directly placed Louisville youth in more than 6,700 summer jobs. The program’s core operating funds are approved by the Louisville Metro Council. Private donations sponsor jobs for youth in greatest need of the opportunity. Those contributors include the James Graham Brown Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the Gingko Foundation, the Community Foundation of Louisville, the Diaz Family Foundation, and other organizations and individuals.
SummerWorks is operated by YouthBuild Louisville in partnership with KentuckianaWorks, the Louisville Region’s Workforce Development Board. To learn more about SummerWorks and how to get involved as a participant, employer, or supporter, visit www.summerworks.org.