Business, Education, Family, Politics

Baltimore County receives $307,000 in grants for Summer Youth Employment Program

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County and the Baltimore Community Foundation on Thursday announced that the County’s Summer Youth Employment Program has received four grants totaling $307,000; $100,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, $100,000 from BGE $60,000 from Bank of America, and $47,000 from Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and the Citi Foundation’s Summer Jobs Connect Initiative.

Officials say the collective impact from this robust group of partners will ensure the success of this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program that will again offer a hybrid of virtual training and onsite opportunities.

“We believe in creating summer employment opportunities for students because we know they play a vital role in finding success in the classroom and with future workforce opportunities,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We’re thankful for our partners like Bank of America, the Weinberg Foundation, BGE, and the Citi Foundation and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund for recognizing the important impact this program makes and for investing in the future of Baltimore County youth.”

“This program comes at a critical time for Baltimore County’s young people,” says BCF President & CEO Shanaysha Sauls. “After a year of remote learning, this is a vital opportunity to reconnect, build relationships and gain new skills that will benefit them academically and beyond. “We are proud to partner on this initiative and steward these funds.”

Funding will be used to support a diverse range of efforts, including providing financial literacy education and expanding banking options, more opportunities to serve youth in ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed) communities, and hiring additional support staff.

Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program provides a six-week summer employment program for youth, ages 14-21, offering real-world work experiences.

This year, students will be placed in either virtual or onsite opportunities.

“At Bank of America, we believe addressing issues that are connected to economic mobility, including access to youth employment and workforce development opportunities, is critical to building more sustainable communities,” said Janet Currie, President, Bank of America Greater Maryland. “We are pleased to support the Baltimore County Summer Youth Employment Program, which will connect our region’s young people to the skills, resources and experiences they need to succeed.”

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s Darius Graham, Program Director, Baltimore commented, “The Weinberg Foundation’s grant to Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program is an important investment in the region’s youth, and the Foundation is honored to provide this support. Employment opportunities like those provided by the program offer important life experiences and equip young adults with the skills needed for future growth and success in the workplace.”

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“At BGE, we want to help students prepare for the work world and live to their fullest potential, and after our great experience with the Maryland Chamber’s Teacher Externship program last year, we came to understand the unique impact we could have by working with teachers directly,” BGE Senior Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Rodney Oddoye said.“They have such tremendous responsibility in reaching their students, but they also can talk to parents, to other teachers and to guidance counselors. By bridging the gap between education and business, we help students see all the future work possibilities and hopefully provide tremendous inspiration.”

“The Citi Foundation is proud to partner with Baltimore County as they integrate financial education and banking access into their summer jobs program,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “Through the Foundation’s collaboration with Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, young people will gain the financial skills and knowledge they need to forge bright financial futures.”

Virtual participants will utilize an online platform called Baltimore County Youth Career EDGE to engage in customized work experiences. The virtual training will expose young people to high growth occupations in the County will better prepare students for entry into the workforce. Youth participating in the virtual work-experience will receive stipends for successful completion of modules.

Youth who participate in onsite opportunities will be placed in one of 12 Baltimore County departments, including efforts to assist with the County’s COVID-19 response to prepare and distribute food as well as over 20 community employers. Students who participate onsite will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training as appropriate. Youth with on-site placements will work up to 25 hours per week, earning $11.75 per hour.

More information about Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program is available at https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/SYEP.

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