STL Youth Jobs launched the first day of its 2016 summer work program Wednesday, while also announcing it has received a financial boost to fund more positions.
The program, which is run through a collaboration between the city and civic partners, offers paid summer positions and training opportunities for young St. Louisans, ages 16 to 24.
The goal is to help young people find “meaningful employment to reduce crime, increase academic success and build the skills needed” for a career.
Recently, JP Morgan Chase donated an additional $150,000, upping its total commitment to $350,000.
Thanks to $150,000 from JPMorgan Chase, about 45 at-risk young people in St. Louis will have summer jobs in the health care and information technology fields.
The donation will go toward paying the wages of some summer employees who have been selected by the STL Youth Jobs program for employment. In addition to a job, the nonprofit program provides local youth with job training, mentoring, financial literacy and continuing career support.
These young adults come from neighborhoods that typically have high rates of unemployment, poverty and violence.
It’s an important program because it removes a barrier for these at-risk youth to land a job, Hillary Frey, STL Youth Jobs executive director, told the Post-Dispatch Wednesday during its public announcement of its latest donation at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Wednesday also marked the first day on the job for many STL Youth Jobs participants.
The application and interview process can be a “daunting experience if you’re never had a job,” Frey said. “We provide a handshake into a job.”
One of the many programs Civic Progress St. Louis donated to was STL Youth Jobs. The organization is using the $100,000 donation to divert hundreds of youth away from crime.