For Immediate Release
July 09, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined the Youth Violence Prevention Funder Learning Collaborative, led by the State Street Foundation, and the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University to release a study touting the benefits of summer jobs for urban youth at the final launch of the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program. Now in its 21st year, the program this year is facilitating the placement of Boston teens in more than 10,000 positions at public, private, and non-profit companies and organizations throughout the City. Mayor Menino’s campaign for youth employment has been held up as a national model, bucking the trend of cities struggling to find summer employment opportunities for teens.
“This year, our corporate partners, foundations, and small businesses really stepped up to support our young people and helped us exceed our ambitious goal of 10,000 jobs this summer,” Mayor Menino said. “This new study proves what we have always believed: summer employment helps keep our young people in places where they can spend meaningful time and change their lives for the better.”
The groundbreaking study, Personal/Social Behaviors of Youth who Experience Summer Employment in Boston, provides compelling evidence that meaningful employment improves behaviors among youth that correlate with violence and exposure to violence. Detailing research overseen by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies and funded by the Youth Violence Prevention initiative, the report analyzes data from a comprehensive survey taken by students who were employed through the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program and students who were not. The employed youth served in positions funded by the foundation members of the youth violence prevention collaborative during the summer of 2012. The youth live or go to school in the neighborhoods most affected by violence. The YVP Collaborative has adopted a public health approach to youth violence prevention, and meaningful employment is a key component of the strategy.
Of the 22 negative behaviors assessed, those gaining quality summer experiences achieved net improvements in 13 significant areas, whereas non-program participants improved in only one significant area. Previous studies indicate summer employment yields other positive results including better academic performance, new workplace skills, resiliency, self-confidence and other important assets that must be in place for teenagers to transition successfully to adulthood.
Funding for summer jobs was Mayor Menino’s first priority after being sworn in as acting Mayor in 1993. Since then, the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Campaign has worked with Boston’s business community to put thousands of Boston teens to work each summer. These Boston Public School students participate in meaningful, paid work with devoted mentors for a variety of employers throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Participants gain valuable experience while learning important skills that go beyond the classroom. The City offers $4 million to the Boston Youth Fund support the campaign, which is supplemented by support from the State and the private sector.
For more information about the Summer Jobs program, visit www.bostonsummerjobs.org or call 617-542-WORK