CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson announced this week that the One Summer Chicago (OSC) program employed more than 24,000 young people during the summer of 2023, marking a 19% increase from the previous year.
The OSC initiative aims to provide employment and internship opportunities for individuals aged 14 to 24.
“The data from this summer is an encouraging start and a tremendous step forward for youth in our city,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson.
“My administration is committed to investing in our young people, and I am pleased that we were able to reach over 24,000 of them in the first few months of my administration. In the years ahead, we will continue bringing together our City partners, business partners, community organizations, faith, labor and all other stakeholders to significantly expand these programs to create pathways for our young people to thrive, during the summer and beyond.”
The OSC program comprises three interconnected components:
- Chicago Youth Service Corps (CYSC): This program employs youth aged 16 to 24 throughout the year, focusing on leadership development and local/civic engagement.
- Chicagobility: Designed for youth aged 14 to 15, this initiative offers project-based learning and skill-building experiences.
- Summer Youth Employment Program: Geared towards youth aged 16 to 24, this program provides job placements and training programs to offer work experiences and develop career skills.
The total number of participants in this summer’s program saw an increase of over 4,000 young people compared to the previous year.
“We are proud that we have been able to effectively partner with our community organizations, corporate partners, and sister agencies to provide tens of thousands of young people valuable paid work experience this summer,” said Jen Johnson, Deputy Mayor of Education, Youth, and Human Services. “These young people are leaders in their communities, and we look forward to working in partnership with them to expand work opportunities moving forward.”
The My CHI. My Future. (MCMF) Safe Spaces for Youth program combines community events known as “Kickbacks” with year-round youth employment. Kickback events aim to strengthen healthy community ecosystems for young people aged 13 to 19 and their families by offering enriching, community-based out-of-school time activities.
The youth employment component of MCMF provides individuals aged 16 to 24 with the opportunity to gain work experience and enhance self-efficacy while planning and implementing community events throughout the year.
In 2023, 225 youth were employed through MCMF and organized 110 Kickback events during the summer, attended by over 14,000 youth and community members.
To further engage youth, the Johnson administration expanded the Mayor’s Youth Commission, which is now in its 5th cohort. The commission grew from 32 to 40 youth members for the 2023-2024 cohort, with its first expanded monthly meeting taking place on September 9th, 2023, at City Hall.
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