One Summer Chicago: How to Apply for the City's Youth Jobs Program

Are you a Chicago resident between the ages of 14 and 24 and looking for a job this summer? Here's a look at the city's One Summer Chicago program - and how you can apply.

One Summer Chicago is a youth employment program that offers residents from the ages of 14 to 24 paid job and life-skills training each year.

This year, it will run from July 5 to August 13, the city said in announcing in late March that applications were open. Opportunities offered will include some remote as well as socially-distanced, in-person positions.

More than 21,000 slots in the program are available, with "career exploration opportunities in fields such as coding and tech, healthcare, media and more," city officials said. Some of those include the Chicago Youth Service Corps, Everyone Can Code, Photography for All programs.

The Chicago Youth Service Corps program launched last year as part of the city's response to COVID-19. The program employed 1,809 people between the ages of 16 and 24 in remote COVID-related projects and "specifically focused on developing leadership and empowering a service mindset," the city says.

Applications for One Summer Chicago are due June 11 and can be found at this website. The application lists After School Matters, the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Housing Authority, City Colleges Chicago, the Department of Family and Support Services, the Forest Preserves District of Cook County and the Chicago Park District as some of the participating agencies to choose from based on applicants' interests.

Details on more opportunities through community organizations, non-profits and other partners can be viewed here.

Applications must be submitted online but can be viewed here as a reference before applying. Officials recommend that applicants create a professional email address, if they don't already have one, to communicate regarding work opportunities.

Anyone under the age of 18 who is selected for the program will be asked to get a permission form signed by their parent or guardian. Anyone under age 16 will need a work permit to participate in most opportunities, which they must apply for separately with the state of Illinois. The application notes that After School Matters, the Chicago Housing Authority and the Department of Family and Support Services have openings for which 14- and 15-year-olds may be eligible to participate.

Applicants will be notified during the months of May and June if they have been invited for an interview, the city says, and eligible applicants who are not offered an initial interview will be placed on a wait list. If invited for an interview, the city advised applicants to gather their necessary documents, like their government-issued identification, birth certificate, social security card/ITIN number and more. Full details can be found here.

The city says One Summer Chicago was the largest youth summer employment program in the nation with remote programming due to COVID last year, noting that the program is competitive and receives more applications than there are job openings each year. About 45,000 people applied for roughly 20,500 opportunities last year.

"We encourage you to keep looking and applying for other opportunities while you wait to hear about your application," the One Summer Chicago website reads.

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