Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hogsett Announces Teen Job Initiative

Joe Hogsett
In one of his first major policy initiatives, likely Democratic nominee for Mayor, Joe Hogsett, announced a plan to pull together Indy employers to provide summer employment for teens to keep them busy and off the streets in the critical summer months.

Hogsett's pledges to work towards a goal of 1,000 available jobs for teens at corporate employers and non-profits to work alongside the current "Your Life Matters" initiative started by Mayor Greg Ballard.  The hope is to provide young people something to do so they aren't just off doing anything possibly committing crimes or hanging with the wrong crowd.

“With no additional cost to taxpayers, our city has the capability to start a comprehensive summer jobs initiative next year that will give hundreds of young people job experience, useful skills, and productive alternatives to crime and gangs,” Hogsett said. “I learned as federal prosecutor that the best ideas don’t require more bureaucracy – they just require leadership that can harness the kind of energy and commitment that our city’s corporate and non-profit partners showed with last week’s release of the Your Life Matters action plan.”

From the campaign:
Rather than adding another layer of government bureaucracy, Hogsett will convene the diverse groups already working to employ our youth and direct those energies toward a comprehensive summer jobs initiative. As Mayor, Hogsett would also oversee further policy development, raise funds from individual and corporate partners, secure job commitments from employers, and seek to grow the initiative each year. 
Beginning in the summer of 2016, these jobs will be available to young people in Marion County. Participating organizations and employers will offer positions that range from 20 to 25 hours per week with wages of at least $8 per hour for six weeks during the summer. 
In addition to providing valuable life experience and meaningful income to the program’s participants, the City of Indianapolis would also work with participating organizations and employers to ensure that every young person receives job skills training that will equip them to be full participants in the local economy.
These skills would include résumé building workshops, job fairs for post-summer employment, and easily accessible information on the diverse educational and employment opportunities available for young people who may have different paths to individual achievement.
For 2016 and 2017, the estimated cost will be approximately $3 million – none of which will come from new tax revenues. Much of this funding will come from the corporate or non-profit partners, while additional funds from philanthropic organizations and federal grants will support positions with properly vetted non-profit or faith-based organizations.

Hogsett's plan harkens back to initiatives of the past when summer jobs provided by the city were available to young people in the parks and across the city.  It also reveals some "outside of the box" thinking we're just not used to over the last seven years.

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