Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Business Leaders Join Forces to Encourage Employers to “Hire One Youth” this Summer

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

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James E. Bentley II
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Local businesses are asked to commit to interview and hire youth and young adults who register through Baltimore City’s YouthWorks program.

Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined local business leaders at Western High School to promote Baltimore’s Hire One Youth campaign. The campaign challenges local employers to hire job-ready 16 to 21 year olds through the City’s YouthWorks summer jobs program. The Mayor’s Hire One Youth Leadership Team is comprised of representatives from a variety of industries who have pledged to encourage their fellow business owners to employ Baltimore’s young people. Mayor Rawlings-Blake spoke about the obligation businesses have to groom the future workforce and how they can benefit from employing well-prepared young people.

“It is vital that Baltimore’s business community take an active role in employing our young citizens this summer,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “This is not a charitable effort—these young men and women are poised and ready to contribute to the offices, hospitals, financial institutions, and production facilities that fuel our local economy. When Baltimore’s citizens work, the city works, and it can grow into the place we all know it can be.”

It costs $1,200 to employ a young person for the six-week duration of the program. Several thousand city residents have registered for the 2012 YouthWorks summer jobs program, which is scheduled to operate from June 25 to August 3.

Don Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Chair of the Hire One Youth Leadership Team, echoed the Mayor’s remarks.

“The Hire One Youth campaign gives businesses the unique opportunity to interview, select, and hire qualified young employees who have displayed an interest or aptitude in a particular field and have completed 12 hours of workforce preparation,” said Mr. Fry. “Participating in Hire One Youth is a sound business decision that collectively benefits the city and the Baltimore business community as much as it benefits these young workers individually.”

Mr. Fry mentioned several Hire One Youth initiatives, led by members of the leadership team, that are designed to link the young employees to businesses and organizations in Baltimore’s high-growth industries, such as hospitality and tourism, health care, and finance.

YouthWorks employees will work a minimum of six weeks at 25 hours per week and be paid the minimum wage. However, companies have the right to extend the number of hours and the pay scale beyond these basic requirements. Several YouthWorks employers annually decide to continue to employ the young people on a part-time basis once the school year begins.

“It’s important to set youth on the right path,” said Linda Westgate, general manager of the Hilton Baltimore. “We are proud to partner with the YouthWorks program and we really take ownership of it—we want the YouthWorks participants to do well and have a positive experience here.” The Hilton Baltimore has been a YouthWorks worksite every summer since it opened in 2008 and has extended several YouthWorks participants’ employment on a part-time basis during the school year as well as full-time after students have graduated.

Local employers who wish to join the Hire One Youth campaign and commit to hiring at least one youth this summer can complete the online form at www.baltimorecity.gov/HireOneYouth or contact YouthWorks, operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, at 410-396-JOBS (5627) or [email protected].

Any employer that signs on to Hire One Youth will be provided with a pool of pre-screened, qualified young people to interview. Employers will then select the applicants who best meet their summer employment needs. YouthWorks job coaches will be assigned to each hiring organization to answer questions and serve as a direct link to the YouthWorks program. Throughout the summer, the job coaches will visit the worksites to provide encouragement and support to the employees and ensure a productive summer experience for all involved.

Employers willing to hire youth will have two options. They can either place the employees directly on their payrolls or have the YouthWorks program manage the payroll expenses by making a payment to the Baltimore City Foundation/YouthWorks to support the wages of the participants who will work at their place of business.

Thus far, the 2012 Hire One Youth campaign has secured commitments from 42 businesses totaling 143 positions. Baltimore’s YouthWorks summer jobs program annually provides employment opportunities for approximately 5,000 youth and young adults, ages 14 to 21, based upon funding provided by a combination of government resources, philanthropic foundations, and donations from businesses and individuals.

More information about Hire One Youth and YouthWorks can be found at www.oedworks.com, which features a YouTube video that Mayor Rawlings-Blake encourages employers to share among each other to help enlist employers.

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