The One Summer Chicago program is a partnership with City of Chicago Departments and Sister Agencies, community-based organizations, corporate partners and local companies to offer employment and internships opportunities to young people ages 14-24.

Chicago’s business community is joining forces with Mayor Brandon Johnson‘s administration to create opportunities for the city’s youth through the One Summer Chicago program. This groundbreaking initiative aims to expand youth employment, provide valuable job experiences, and foster a brighter future for young individuals across the city. With the support of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and numerous businesses, this program promises to deliver significant benefits to both the young workforce and the entire business community.

Investing in Youth: A Top Priority

Mayor Johnson and his administration have made youth employment a top priority, recognizing that summer jobs are more than just temporary employment. These opportunities allow young people in Chicago to develop critical skills, engage with their communities, and build a brighter future for themselves. By taking an all-hands-on-deck approach, the administration is fulfilling its commitment to expanding year-round youth employment, uplifting young individuals, and creating safer, vital communities. This collaborative effort reflects the city’s dedication to bringing together government, philanthropic organizations, and businesses to create a stronger Chicago.

The Impact of One Summer Chicago

One Summer Chicago stands as the city’s largest youth summer employment program and the nation’s second-largest summer youth employment program. With additional funding from the American Recovery Plan Act, the program has expanded the number of summer and year-round youth employment opportunities. To date, the program has achieved 80% of its hiring goal and will increase by over 2,000 jobs this summer. This significant expansion in opportunities provides a stepping stone for young individuals to gain real-world experience, learn new skills, and explore their interests.

Benefits for the Business Community

In remarks delivered at the One Summer Chicago kickoff, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy Brad Tietz, commended Mayor Johnson for prioritizing youth employment and building opportunities for Chicago’s future. Tietz emphasized the importance of investing in youth, providing economic opportunities, creating career pathways, and offering mentorship. The Chamber sees this partnership between businesses, government, and community organizations as an opportunity to connect at-risk youth from the south and west sides with meaningful employment, opportunities, and networks.

Chicagoland Chamber President and CEO Jack Lavin added, “By hiring these work-ready Chicago youth, we not only invest in their futures but also in the economic development and public safety of our city. Our business community possesses the power to make a significant impact and help shape a brighter future for Chicago youth.”

By participating in One Summer Chicago and other programs, businesses can:

  1. Address Public Safety Challenges: Summer and year-round youth employment programs have been proven to address both immediate and long-term public safety challenges. By offering young individuals the chance to work and engage in positive activities, these programs contribute to the overall safety and well-being of Chicago’s communities.
  2. Access a New Talent Pool: Chicago businesses currently face labor challenges and shortages in various industries. Participating in youth employment programs allows businesses to tap into a fresh talent pool, providing young individuals with opportunities to showcase their skills and potential. This infusion of new talent helps businesses thrive and grow.
  3. Build the Workforce of Tomorrow: As Chicago strives to attract industries and jobs of the future, it is crucial to invest in building a strong and skilled workforce. By supporting youth employment programs, businesses play an active role in nurturing the city’s future workforce, ensuring a pipeline of talented individuals who can contribute to the growth and prosperity of Chicago.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, alongside Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration, is committed to scaling up the city’s summer and year-round youth employment programs. Through this partnership, businesses are making a tangible difference in the lives of young individuals, offering them valuable opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. This investment not only benefits the youth themselves but also strengthens the business community and contributes to the overall development and well-being of Chicago. As the One Summer Chicago program kicks off, we look forward to witnessing the positive outcomes and long-lasting impact it will have on the city and its future generations.

Learn More

One Summer Chicago Website

Press Release from the City of Chicago