COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther met with local organization leaders on Thursday to discuss employment opportunities and programs for young central Ohioans ahead of the summer.
According to Ginther, the pandemic took a particular toll on the City of Columbus’ younger population, only deepening a divide in racial and health inequities.
Ginther announced a ‘restoration investment’ program to keep young people safe and active during the summer, as well as help them build back what so many have lost during the pandemic.
“The need is great, and we are able to offer great opportunities,” said Ginther.
The investment program will focus on three main priorities:
- Engagement and development
- Violence and prevention
As part of the program, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department will hire more than 200 seasonal staff and the Department of Public Service is partnering with the YMCA to employ 400 people ages 16-24 to help clean litter and debris throughout local neighborhoods.
Ginther said those participants will receive soft skills training, as well as lunch each day.
In order to promote safety and keep kids active, Ginther said community centers will offer drop-in hours, and some will remain open late for activities like basketball. All community centers will offer free meals to children while school remains out of session.
The annual My Brother’s Keepers Youth and Community Job Fair will be virtual this year, and will offer full and part-time jobs for community members ages 15 and older on May 13 and 14.
The Ready2Earn program, a $1.4 million investment, will offer tech skills to young people throughout the city. The programs will provide skills like resume writing and interview tips, while offering a variety of work opportunities, as well as a stipend.
“Programs like this are a generational investment and one way we begin to close the racial and wealth gap in this community is by investing in our young people and exposing them to work programs at an early age,” said Joy Bivens, director of Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services.
You can learn more about the opportunities provided by clicking here.