Mayor Fischer launches 10th season of SummerWorks

March 6, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the start of the 2020 SummerWorks season alongside JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio, District 24 Councilwoman Madonna Flood, and others at the Class Act Federal Credit Union branch at Southern High School.

“Looking back over the past nine years it’s amazing to see how much this program has grown - from just 200 participants in its first year, to more than 6,900 last season,” said Fischer. “We’ve set a goal to build the nation’s best talent development pipeline here in Louisville and SummerWorks is a critical piece of that plan.”

SummerWorks is helping strengthen Louisville’s talent pipeline by expanding its partnership with the Academies of Louisville at JCPS. This summer, nearly 300 Academy students will be placed in jobs that directly connect to their career sectors like technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and others. Academy teachers also will help students who are looking for a quality summer job sign up for SummerWorks during school hours.

“It’s vitally important that students have the chance to take the skills they’re learning in school and explore their future and possible professions,” said Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “Thanks to SummerWorks and our corporate partners, JCPS students are getting that opportunity with a real job with real responsibility and a real paycheck.”

Hallie Rice, a senior at Southern High School who spoke during today’s kickoff, is a great example of how a summer job can complement learning in the classroom. Rice, 17, has worked at Class Act Federal Credit Union as a Student Member Relations Specialist in summer while studying financial services in the school’s iGen Business Academy.

“My work at Class Act has given me real world experience and helped me figure out what I wanted to do after I graduated,” said Rice, who plans to study political science and accounting at the University of Kentucky next year.

Employers participating in SummerWorks this year include Kentucky Kingdom, GE Appliances, Humana, UPS, Trilogy Health Services, Thorntons, Kroger, DD Williamson, and many more.

SummerWorks, founded by Fischer in 2011 after federal funding for summer jobs was eliminated, has directly placed Louisville youth in more than 5,700 summer jobs. Overall, its Champion Employers have hired youth for more than 33,000 summer jobs. A 2019 study conducted by the Kentucky Center for Statistics found a variety of positive outcomes associated with SummerWorks, including higher graduation and employment rates. 

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, Community Foundation of Louisville, Diaz Family Foundation, Henry Heuser, Mary Gwen Wheeler and David Jones, Jr. and other organizations and individuals.

SummerWorks funding from Louisville Metro Government was decreased from $600,000 for the summer of 2019 to $500,000 for the summer of 2020. However, the Mayor donated 20 percent of his own salary to help offset this cut.

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.