Registration for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program is now open. Here’s what you need to know.


Daily file photo by Evan Robinston-Johnson.

Downtown Evanston. ​​Audrey Thompson, the city’s community services manager, said the job fair will offer jobs from the City of Evanston, and posted by local businesses, recreation centers and nursing homes.

Yiming Fu, City Editor

Evanston just opened registration for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which connects local teens with workforce opportunities to help them explore career fields and become familiar with job responsibilities. 

The job fair will be on Sat. March 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Evanston Township High School.​​ Audrey Thompson, the city’s community services manager, said participants can meet employees at the job fair, sit down and interview for positions. 

The program, which has run for 30 years, aims to provide skills and workforce opportunities for at-risk Evanston youth between the ages of 14 and 18, according to the city’s Youth & Young Adult division’s website. Upwards of 800 people participate each year, Thompson said. She recommends registering in advance on the city’s website

Participants can pick from a wide range of jobs hosted by the city at recreation centers, local restaurants, small businesses and nursing homes. Thompson said salaries can range from $10 to around $15 an hour and participants are hired for nine weeks. 

The city is offering job readiness workshops through February and March for young people who may be applying for their first job and would like additional support and guidance before the job fair, Thompson said. She added that any young person who needs dress attire can email the city’s youth division at [email protected] to receive aid. 

The workshops will be offered virtually at these dates:

— ​​Tues., Feb. 22, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

— Thurs., Feb. 24, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

— Mon., March 7, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

— Wed., March 9,  4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This year, Thompson said the Youth and Young Adult Division will be hosting HR sessions to train young people to notice and respond to sexual harassment and grooming in the workplace, along with other workplace policies and procedures. They will begin investing in “career tracks,” she said, which will allow young people to continue pursuing future jobs in the same field by fully funding work certifications. 

“Even when they leave the job for the summer, they’re able to say, ‘you know what, not only did I get a job, but I have a certification,’” Thompson said. “‘So if I want to continue working at a restaurant, they’re gonna hire me first because I already have the certification that sometimes others might not.’”

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