Mayor Rahm Emanuel today visited youth working on a viaduct transformation project as part of their participation in the 2015 One Summer Chicago Plus (OSC+) program which provides 24,000 youth job and internship opportunities, keeping them safe as they build invaluable career skills and training. Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has significantly expanded the summer job program, a key violence prevention effort. The 24,000 jobs offered this summer are the most in the program’s history, up from 22,500 jobs last year and up from 14,000 when he took office.
“One Summer Chicago Plus provides young adults with better opportunities today so they can have a brighter future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As part of our commitment to reducing violence in our City, this summer we are providing more opportunities than ever before. Not only will this help Chicago youth earn a paycheck this summer, but it will help provide them with the tools they need to secure a bright and successful future.”
One Summer Chicago provides youth ages 16-24 from every area of the city an opportunity to complete six or more weeks of work or career programming, contributing their skills and talents to Chicago’s vibrant communities. As part of the One Summer Chicago program, Mayor Emanuel created OSC+, a special program to connect youth at a higher risk for violence with a 25-hour per week summer job, a mentor, cognitive behavioral therapy and social skill building.
To date, nearly 75,000 youth have gained valuable job training and work experience through One Summer Chicago.
In order to reach youth who are most at risk of involvement in violence, OSC+ participants are drawn from high schools located in high crime areas. A comprehensive, peer-reviewed study published in Science Magazine in 2014 showed that this unique program significantly reduced violence and juvenile delinquency for at least 16 months after the program ended.
Last year, the City employed 1,000 youth through its OSC+ program. This year, the program expanded to serve 2,000 youth in 2015 and will serve 3,000 youth in 2016. A $6 million investment by the City this year, coupled with an investment of $10 million by Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC, will allow OSC+ to expand to serve thousands of additional youths over the next two years.
Mayor Emanuel was joined today at the viaduct located at 1600 S. Loomis Street by Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Evelyn Diaz, Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) Commissioner Charles Williams, Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson of the 11th Ward, Alderman Danny Solis of the 25th Ward, State Senator Tony Munoz, and A Safe Haven Foundation’s Executive Director, Neli Vazquez Rowland.
The 2015 One Summer Chicago program marks the first year that groups of youth will be working on large-scale infrastructure projects, which will allow youth and residents an opportunity to celebrate the completion of a project that will have an immediate benefit for a neighborhood. Roughly 1,000 youth will be working alongside city agencies to overhaul and improve viaducts across the city this summer, allowing Chicago to both renew itself and to build a better future for our youth and their families.
OSC+ participants will support community improvements by painting viaducts along seven rail lines this summer, tying in with the Mayor’s larger plan to upgrade 80 viaducts in neighborhoods across the city to make necessary infrastructure improvements. Since the plan was announced in April, DFSS and CDOT have identified 60 additional viaducts that require fresh coats of paint.
OSC+ participants will be working to improve viaducts located in the following corridors over the summer months:
• 75th st – 17th ward
• Stewart – 6th and 20th wards
• Cottage Grove – 6th, 8th, 9th, 20th and 21st wards
• South Chicago – 6th, 7th, 8th and 20th wards
• 16th Street – 11th, 25th and 28th wards
• Kinzie – 27th, 28th, 29th and 37th wards
• Ravenswood – 32nd, 40th, 47th, 49th and 50th wards
DFSS leads One Summer Chicago and One Summer Chicago Plus in partnership with participating agencies including: Office of the City Treasurer, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, After School Matters, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, and Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.