Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new incentive for high school students to stay in school. High School graduates from Chicago Public Schools can receive "job application preference" for city positions.
“This new hiring preference encourages our students to stay in school and get their diploma so they are prepared for college and a career,” Emanuel stated in a press release on Saturday morning.
Under the new hiring preference, Chicago's Department of Human Resources will ensure CPS graduates make up 20 percent of the job applicants for positions, "including tree trimming, graffiti removal, sanitation removal, and hand labor work," the release said.
“This is an important step as it not only encourages our students to stay in school and get their degrees, but also helps fill the gap between skilled employees we need with students we know have received a quality education in our public schools," said Commissioner of the City Department of Human Resources Soo Choi in the release about the new initiative.
Though the program gives CPS students a leg up, it does not guarantee they will get the job, city spokeswoman Caroline Weisser told the Chicago Tribune.
The department managers must opt into "CPS hiring consideration" when looking for applicants, the release said. The Department of Streets and Sanitation was listed as a city department that has chosen to implement the new CPS High School graduate preference.
To be considered for the initiative, CPS graduates must provide their diplomas or transcripts as proof, the release stated.
According to the release, former graduates who no longer have their diploma or transcripts can contact CPS, who keeps transcript records dating back 50 years.