8,000 youth summer job hopefuls cut down to 1,000 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

8,000 youth summer job hopefuls cut down to 1,000

(Source: WMC Action News 5 archives) (Source: WMC Action News 5 archives)

Getting teenagers off of the streets and on the clock is the goal behind the city's summer jobs program.

Amid recent reports of youth violence around Memphis, Office of Youth Services plans to put at least 1,000 kids to work at summer jobs. But, will it be enough?

The city received more than 8,000 applications for the MPLOY Youth Summer Experience, but only 1,000 jobs are available.

The city's summer program has always been popular among youth, but has been sporadic in recent years because of budget cuts.

Memphis City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert pushed the return of the program, and the city set aside $1.5 million to put kids, ages 14 to 21, to work. The jobs offered are in health care, banking, the arts, nonprofits, and retail.

Bass Pro Shops, Hattiloo Theater, and Kroger are just a few companies participating.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton hopes more employers will sign up for the program so more jobs will be available.

"I'm making a plea to other business," Wharton said. "Maybe you can't take five, but maybe you can take two. Can you take three? We'll help you with the supervision. They will be screened to make sure they're suitable for your environment, and we will monitor them and follow up."

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the city selected the 1,000 youth who will be put to work through a lottery system. The youth selected for the program will be notified by April 20.

There is still no word on whether the city will push any other initiatives to help the 7,000 remaining applicants who are looking to work.

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