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Mayor relaunches summer youth jobs program

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Summer might seem a long way away, but officials say it’s time to start looking in that direction, especially if you’ve got a teenager who needs a summer job.

Mayor Joe Hogsett (D-Indianapolis) kicked off this year’s Project Indy youth jobs initiative Sunday, with the goal of putting kids to work and keeping them safe.

This initiative launched three years ago, and during the 2019 kickoff, Hogsett said he hopes to employee even more teens than years past. One place looking to hire is the Ransburg YMCA on Indy’s east side.

“Our most popular are our summer lifeguard positions as well as our camp counselors,” said senior director Matt Larson.

Those are just some of the jobs they’re hoping to fill, with openings all across the city. The mayor made a stop at several area churches to encourages families and teens to apply for the program.

“The truth is, right now is when employers are thinking about seasonal work this summer,” said Hogsett.

The mayor said last year more than 3,000 young people were employed through the program. It’s billed not only as a way to fill needed jobs but as a way of keeping kids off the streets during the summer months when youth violence typically spikes.

“This to us was a really great opportunity to be able to get out into the community and do it on a day where we might not normally be out and about,” said Megan Fetter with Indy Parks, one of the program's biggest employers.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get out into different locations and talk to people and build up those relationships,” said Fetter.

Last summer, Hogsett made a concerted effort to curb youth violence.  By September of last year, 13 people under the age of 20 had lost their lives in Marion County. The hope is that more young people working means fewer young people dying.

For more information, you can click here to explore the Project Indy website.

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