The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor have included two Indiana cities in announcements to boost summer employment among young people throughout the country. Indianapolis is one of 11 cities to receive a portion of $21 million in Summer Jobs and Beyond grants while Indy and Gary have been named Summer Impact Hubs.
The grants are meant to launch and expand programs that connect young people with summer and year-round jobs, as well as long-term career pathways. The White House says YouthWorks Indy will use the funds to "enhance existing summer youth employment programs and expand work readiness skills training and work experiences for participants in high-poverty, high-crime Indianapolis neighborhoods."
EmployIndy says it has received nearly $2 million to expand the YouthWorks Indy program. EmployIndy Board Chair Joyce Irwin said the grant is an honor for the organization.
"Critical to the workforce development goals for the area is to find ways to expand current resources and deliver them directly where they are needed most," said Irwin. "This program will allow us to open doors to much needed opportunities for Marion County youth and young adults, to end unemployment and low-education cycles that have gone on for generations."
YouthWorks Indy is expecting to enroll more than 800 young people and place more than 300 in unsubsidized employment and nearly 200 in post-secondary employment. Some of the other cities selected for the grants include Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Portland, Oregon.
Indianapolis and Gary have also need named two of 16 Summer Impact Hubs, which will receive support from 16 federal agencies to enhance jobs, learning, meals and violence reduction programs, both in the summer and year-round. The White House says each city will be paired with a federal "Summer Ambassador" who will help the cities meet their goals by "leveraging existing federal resources, breaking down agency siloes, and building new local and national partnerships."
Some of the other Summer Impact Hubs include Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans and St. Louis, among others.
"While our new efforts will be crucial to supporting more at-risk youth over the summer, reaching the scale needed to create job opportunities for all at-risk young Americans will require significant new investments at the federal level," the White House said in a prepared statement.