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8,000 Teens Get Summer Jobs Through Youthworks

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- For the first time in years, the mayor's Youthworks program was able to employ all of the teens who signed up for summer jobs.

As Mike Schuh reports, the mayor spent part of her morning meeting some of those who got on the job training.

It's a big deal when the mayor comes to visit your business; a big deal, when, as a high schooler, you get your picture taken with the mayor; and a big deal, when, as a 17-year-old, you can get a chuckle out of the mayor.

Tiree McCall is finishing up his summer Youthworks job. He's one of the 8,000 city kids who got summer jobs because businesses like Union Memorial found them something to do.

"This hospital has been around in Baltimore for 160 years, and we didn't have our success without those types of partnerships," Brandley Chambers, of Union Memorial, said.

Union Memorial didn't pay their five weeks of salary -- Youthworks did. The money was donated.

A lot more money came in this year after unrest caused people to want to help in some way.

"There were about almost 3,000 young people who would not have been placed but for the fundraising efforts post-unrest," Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. "So that was certainly a tragic incident with a good upside for our young people."

For many, like Shaquille, this is their first real job -- an experience that should translate into more jobs later.

"Yes, showing up on time, but the little things -- how to interact with people, how to communicate with people, how to work on a team. It's those basic skills that are actually more important that we're teaching," Chambers added.

Tiree has college plans to be an engineer, knowing it's a big deal to be building a work history first.

"I want more people to know about the Tiree's of our city, who want better for themselves and are willing to work really hard for it," Rawlings-Blake said.

All of the money that has to pay for those jobs, $1,500 per student, was donated to the city.

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