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The Voice of the Black Community

Local & State

Summer jobs program doubles internships, looking for support
Charlotte, Mecklenburg and CMS pledge increases
Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018 11:12 am
by Herbert L. White

The city of Charlotte’s summer internship initiative is growing to meet job needs of students.

The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, which has provided summer jobs for 32 years, aims to double the number of positions to 770.

“We want to make this experience available to as many of our youth as possible in hopes to bridge the divide that’s present in our community and provide economic opportunity for all,” said Mayor Vi Lyles, whose office oversees the program. “This kind of career development is critical for all youth, which is why we’ve doubled the size of the program.”

Each of the city’s 125 departments would have at least one MYEP intern, said Lyles, who was joined at an April 3 media briefing by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox and Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio in an appeal to businesses to offer internships.

“It’s probably impossible to overstate how important the MYEP program is to our kids because creating access to opportunity has such a powerful effect on students’ lives” Wilcox said. “The opportunity to begin building a future and to learn skills in the workplace is essential – and that is exactly what the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program does. Our district will offer 75 internships this summer to our students, bringing them exposure to the wide range of jobs in CMS, one of the county’s largest employers.”

Lyles drew parallels between the program and public efforts to increase economic mobility, a major talking point for the city and county since the 2016 shooting death of Keith Scott by police exacerbated frustrations over disparities between low- and upper-income residents. Diorio, who said county government would staff 125 internships in 10 departments, focused on the necessity of a capable workforce.

“We want to make sure our community has a skilled, trained and ready workforce that can support all of our local trades and industries, including technology, health science, construction and the environment,” Diorio said. “The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program is a big part of making that possible.”

Although the program is expanding, Diorio asked area businesses to join in by providing internships. Charlotte-based Bank of America underwrites internships for nonprofits who lack the budget to pay for them.

“The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program is doubling in size. That’s great news,” she said. “But it’s also a call to action for businesses to step up and host more interns. The experience that our students can gain from you is also an enormous opportunity for our community as a whole.” 

Businesses interested in providing internships or supporting MYEP in other ways can contact Sonja Gantt at the CMS Foundation at sonja.gantt@cms.k12.nc.us.


What is the age range for the youth seeking invivlement in the program?
Posted on April 6, 2018

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