Record 6,200 youth participated in SummerWorks in 2018

From computer coding to manufacturing and life-guarding to public finance, a record number of young people - 6,200 - gained new skills and confidence working at businesses and job sites throughout Louisville last summer as part of the SummerWorks program.    

At the program’s closing press conference in August, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer congratulated youth and thanked the many private sector and non-profit employers who hired youth ages 16-21. That number includes 1,004 youth employed by companies and organizations that directly teamed with KentuckianaWorks and YouthBuild to provide more extensive career guidance and support.

I learned so much in my summer job and loved working with kids at the Speed Museum - it was a perfect fit with my career goal of digital animation for children.
— Grace Hotkewicz, 17, taught day camp to children 6-9 years old.

Key employer-partner companies, including GE Appliances, Humana, Kentucky Kingdom, Kindred Healthcare and UPS, increased their direct hiring of SummerWorks youth from 2017. New employers included Dine Company, Hilliard Lyons, HJI Supply Chain Solutions, Kentuckiana Comfort Center, iQor, Louisville Bats, Spectrum and StoryWood Bowties.

More than 40 private-sector businesses participated this summer, and Mayor Fischer said a top goal for 2019 is to greatly increase the number of companies hiring youth.

Private donations sponsored 237 youth in jobs at dozens of non-profit organizations and public agencies, including Americana Community Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, Family Health Centers, the Food Literacy Project and Workwell Industries. TARC bus passes were provided to many youth to help get them to and from their jobs.

SummerWorks is playing a stronger role in shaping young talent through its partnership with the new Academies of Louisville initiative, which was rolled out at 14 JCPS high schools this year. The goal is for every student to have had a summer job experience by the time they graduate their Academy high school.

SummerWorks also helped build entrepreneurial skills by providing small grants to five organizations that engaged youth in summer projects ranging from bringing fresh produce to West Louisville, to providing digital skills to young women, to building a new bicycle pump track at Shawnee Park. 

To see the SummerWorks 2018 Annual Report, which includes youth testimonials, the number of youth from high-priority zip codes placed by the program, and other key data, click here.