Thousands of teens apply for summer jobs; City launches campaign to add more jobs

Thousands of teens apply for summer jobs; City launches campaign to add more jobs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The application process is now open for the city’s summer job program.

MPLOY is a city funded program that provides meaningful summer experience for youth 14 to 22 years old.

However, there’s one problem -- the funds are running out.

The MPLOY application program runs Dec. 1-31.

It's just two weeks into the application process and the city has already received 5,000 applicants.

The MPLOY and MAPS programs put youth in entry-level jobs, internships or job training programs all across the city.

Judith Moore is the President of the Tarik Black Foundation, which organizes the Summer GLAM Academy.

Tarik Black is a professional basketball player. He currently plays in the Euro-League, but he also played four years in the NBA and he’s a former Memphis Tiger. He’s from Memphis and started various programs targeting youth.

For the past two summers, a group of young women come together to learn life-skills like budgeting and networking.

“So we felt like we would give youth the opportunity to not just come and work, but to be prepared for work,” said Moore.

Moore is Tarik Black’s mother and his foundation is one of the top producers in the MPLOY program, Their foundation won the 2019 Best Community Partner of Year award. The foundation sponsored 50 interns.

Last summer, over 10,000 teens applied for jobs and internships like the Summer GLAM Academy, but the city only had enough funding for about 2,000. The city had to turn away 8,000 applicants.

Dr. Ike Griffith with the City's Youth Services fears the same will happen again next year.

“The city only budgeted for so much, and this work that we’re in cannot be a burden on city government alone,” said Griffith.

Griffith says a campaign called JOY, or Just One Youth, is looking for businesses or faith-based organizations to text JOY2020 to 91999 to make a donation.

Or, make checks payable to:

The City of Memphis Office of Youth Services

Send to them to:

Memphis City Hall, JOY Attn: Ike Griffith

125 N. Main St. Suite 700,

Memphis, TN 38103

They say $2,000 will give one additional teen a job for the summer.

“If we don't do this for our own children, in our own city, who will,” asked Griffith.

This summer Verizon donated $25,000 for summer jobs. Griffith is hoping other businesses will follow suit to give teens valuable experiences like the type the Tarik Black foundation provides.

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