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The March 14 Youth Employment Workshop, part of a series on youth engagement in businesses, featured an array of speakers from Beverly businesses and organizations from across the city. Hosted at Dream Girl Studio on 95th Street, speakers from Morgan Park High School, Dream Girl Studio, Live and Believe Wellness, After School Matters, Of Color, Inc., and One Summer Chicago led a lively discussion about employing youth. They discussed the benefits, challenges, and importance of integrating youth engagement into a business plan.

Multiple city programs pay businesses to employ youth, or offer internship and job placement programs with youth in mind, and this business-youth partnership provides a great opportunity for business owners to serve as mentors. Caring adults are integral to youth development, and teenagers especially need connections with non-parent adults.

Presenters at this workshop included:

If you have any questions, please email us, and stay tuned for the next workshop in this series.

Watch a recording of the event on our YouTube channel.

Youth Employment Programs in Chicago

After School Matters | ASM inspires Chicago teens to discover their passions, develop skills for life beyond high school, and make friends along the way. Programs in the Arts, Steam, Sports and Communication are available. Opportunities for businesses to be partners.
Contacts: Tim O’Neill, tim.oneill@afterschoolmatters.org; Tonya Rayburn, trayburn@afterschoolmatters.org

Chicago Park District Life Guard Program | Being a lifeguard along Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront or a neighborhood pool is a job unlike any other. You’ll be part of one of the country’s largest and best-trained corps, gaining life-saving skills while making a difference in people’s lives.

Chicago Summer Business Institute | At CSBI, today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders. They are committed to helping talented students gain access to jobs so that they can set out on their individual paths to leadership. See the website for qualifications.

Chicago Youth Service Corps | This is a year-round program that provides paid opportunities for youth ages 16-24 to engage in community service, project-based learning, and leadership development. CYSC celebrates and welcomes diverse backgrounds and encourages you to bring your experience, background, and traditions to your service.

CPS Student Employment |  CPS offers learning experiences that take place outside the classroom. The goal is to give each CPS student an opportunity to experience a workplace, build their professional network and gain new skills. Student internships are a valuable learning component to prepare students for a successful career and life.

Of Color, Inc. | Through a partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Illinois Youth Investment Program (IYIP), Of Color Inc provides a comprehensive, wraparound workforce model that introduces employability skill sets, work, and personal ethics to our clients. Of Color’s goal is to connect “work-ready” clients to their community business partners and to prepare them for entry-level work-based learning work experiences (where Of Color pays the youth/young adult’s wages for up to 8 weeks) as well as unsubsidized direct long-term employment opportunities.
Contacts: Edmond Hall, EHall@ofcolorinc.org, 773-664-2356; Hope Coleman, HColeman@ofcolorinc.org, 773-397-3866

One Summer Chicago | One Summer Chicago brings together government institutions, community-based organizations and companies to offer employment and internship opportunities to youth and young adults ages 14 to 24.
Contact: Carla Ringo, grubandaglimpse@gmail.com, Culinary Instructor at Youth Connection Charter School (part of the Alternative Schools Network)
One Summer Chicago Coach and Owner of The Lady and the Ladle. She is seeking 15 teens to apply through the Alternative Schools Network.

Summer Youth Employment Program |  This program operates during the summer months to help provide youth ages 14-24 with career-oriented summer employment to help them develop transferable skills to increase employability through job readiness training. It also provides them with guidance, training, and supervision to help create a meaningful and quality summer job experience.

Out of School Programs

The City of Chicago’s School Age Programs and Chicago Youth Centers Out of School Time & Summer Enrichment Program provide structured, age appropriate activities for youth (6–18 years old).  These programs focus on developing social and emotional skills and building self-confidence, responsibility, awareness, and a sense of safety and belonging. Physical activities are also included to promote the well-being of participants.

Angel of God Resource Center | Angel of God offers a variety of opportunities for youth to develop social and emotional skills, as well as job-specific training.