City hopes to expand youth summer jobs program

City hopes to expand youth summer jobs program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Councilman Dr. Edmund Ford Jr. wants 750 more kids to take part in the Memphis Summer Youth Employment Program by 2020.

The additions would cost around 2 million dollars, so he is asking for local businesses to help open these positions.

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“When we talk about blight, when we talk about crime, when we talk about all of those elements that affect our city, we just can’t be on the sidelines and say this an issue,” Ford said. “We have to say that were going to come up with solutions.”

Almost 45% of children live in poverty throughout Memphis. The national statistic is almost 20%.

Ford said employers should partner with the program because they can mold future employers through a summer job.

“To start giving those individuals skillsets, they can possibly fill some of those jobs,” Ford said. “Especially if those youth want to work live and play in our great city.”

Though Ford said this could help poverty in the city, Councilman Montavious Jones wanted to remind people in the city council committee meeting that this is not going to fix everything.

“Children have very limited income potential,” he said. “So there are no broke children, there’s just broke parents.”

4,000 to 7,000 kids apply for the program every year.

“We’re having this discussion about 2,000 kids,” Jones said. “The school system has 150,000.”

The slots are given out in a lottery, which will take place Wednesday afternoon.

Each student costs businesses around $2,000. Ford said he employs one with his small business.

“I can’t just talk,” he said. “I have to actually act as well.”