Summer Jobs Connect launches sixth year providing employment, financial education

Miami's Community Newspapers

The City of Miami once again has been awarded grant funding under the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and the Citi Foundation’s Summer Jobs Connect Initiative to create paid summer jobs and offer financial education to Miami youth living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Now in its sixth year, the Miami Summer Jobs Connect program recently commenced with a kickoff by Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, the Citi Foundation, and the CFE Fund.

“The pathway to prosperity begins with providing a path to financial self-sufficiency to our young Miami residents,” stated Mayor Suarez. “We thank our partners the Citi Foundation, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and the Overtown Youth Center for working with the City of Miami in creating this unique summer program that is built around financial empowerment. Teaching our youth the importance of saving and personal financial matters while developing work skills provides young Miamians a solid platform for long term success.”

The Miami Summer Jobs Connect Program aims to provide a path to economic self-sufficiency for young Miami residents. Since its inception, Miami Summer Jobs Connect has placed over 820 Miami youth, resulting in over $2.4 million paid in wages and savings in excess of $450,000. Program participants are assigned to work in city departments, local agencies, and non-profit entities throughout Miami. During the summer, youth participants can earn up to $2,500 during their nine-week work assignment.

“Summer jobs provide young people with the opportunity to develop workplace skills and gain experience managing their paycheck at an early point in their working lives,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. “Our six-year collaboration with the City of Miami and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund is connecting more youth with a summer job experience, financial education and banking access, which we hope will start them on the pathway to career and financial success.”

In 2016, due to the program success, the City of Miami allocated general funds to continue the summer jobs initiative while the Summer Jobs Connect program went on to expand programmatically by partnering with the Overtown Youth Center (OYC).

“OYC is grateful to align itself with a host of great partners that strive to demonstrate the power of collective impact in an effort to break down cycles of poverty,” stated Tina Brown, OYC executive director. “For over 16 years, OYC’s primary goal has been to ensure that 100 percent of its students will become positive contributing citizens. We strongly believe that summer youth employment and fiscal responsibility are essential elements in achieving this goal.”

With the continuous partnership and generous support of the Citi Foundation, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, and Overtown Youth Center, the City of Miami has provided a sustainable pathway to prosperity for Miami’s youth by affording them the opportunity to see what the future holds in terms of financial stability and education, workforce and the career skills needed to have long term success.

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