With a couple weeks to go before this year’s summer jobs begin, Baltimore City’s YouthWorks program received a $150,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase as part of the financial firm’s wider effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout.
This investment is a part of JPMC’s $30 billion commitment over five years to advance racial equity. The firm this week announced 20 cities that will receive a combined $3 million to bolster programs that are taking new approaches to summer youth employment and preparing young people for the future of work.
This funding will support YouthWorks, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development-run summer jobs program that will overall place 6,200 young adults at one of over 200 virtual or in-person worksites. This is another organization supporting the mission of YouthWorks, along with other tech focused nonprofits.
“Between persistent racial injustice, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, it’s been a challenging time for families across the country,” said Linda M. Rodríguez, executive director of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, in a statement. “And especially in under resourced communities, young people are being hit particularly hard. That’s why JPMorgan Chase is working with cities to address this problem by identifying innovative strategies for reconnecting young people to work-based learning experiences. Summer jobs provide students with a meaningful learning work-based experience, source of income, chance to build professional networks, and pride in their ability to contribute to their families and communities.”
Running from June 28-August 6, the YouthWorks program matches participants with jobs in a variety of industries, like healthcare, hospitality and human services. This year’s program features an expanded tech internship program, which is matching youth with member companies of Baltimore Tracks, an inclusion-focused coalition which includes a group of the city’s fastest-growing tech companies, as well as the nonprofit partners.
Following an expansion to allow for remote work in 2020, the YouthWorks program will also feature workforce development with a virtual learning curriculum including time management, goal setting, resume building, conflict resolution, as well as instruction on successfully applying for a job and interviewing for a position in virtual office environment.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-