Youth in Chicago will be in for a long summer; without many summer jobs available, plans to see Shrek 4 and Iron Man 2 may have to be replaced with picnics in the park. (Picnics are fun, folks, and with Terrance Howard out of the picture, I’m not so keen about the next Iron Man flick anyway.)
Total numbers of potential summer jobs are drastically down in Chicago this season—only 14,300 will be available. This is down 33% from the number of jobs available in the same season during 2009.
Of course, youths aren’t the only ones impacted; plenty of adults needing full—or even part-time—summer work will also be out of opportunities that last year’s federal stimulus helped to provide the area. Chicago specifically has a “Youth Ready Chicago” program, however, geared at the youth community alone.
This program traditionally supplies positions in private business jobs and government positions. This year, other available options will include jobs through the Chicago Housing Authority, green industry apprenticeships, jobs specifically for impoverished young people, and jobs for young people affiliated with gangs or who have been through the court system. People interested in applying for any of these jobs should do so here.
The Chicago Sun-Times is also getting in on the creation of new jobs for disadvantaged youth. The paper is offering a new bridge program through its Charity Trust, which will help youth ages 17 to 24 get an education in local community colleges and technical schools.
Ex-convicts may be receiving a new chance at life through green jobs. The city will be using $16 million to fund 650 new green jobs for ex-cons in the area. Many people are against such a plan, but combining building a clean start with new clean jobs sounds like a pretty ideal plan to me. Sure, other people can who have been hurt by the economy could definitely use these new jobs—but it’s often very difficult for people who have been through the judicial system, no matter their crime, to find jobs.
In fact, Chicago Mayor Daley spoke out about how important it is for people who have “paid their debt to society” to be given a chance—and that in order to rebuild society as a whole, all of its inhabitants must be included in the entire plan. According to Daley, the jobs are available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Program.