Employment and Financial Education for Miami’s Youth This Summer

Published on July 07, 2020

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This summer, the City of Miami is proudly providing meaningful youth employment, personal finance education and a boost to the City's COVID-19 economic recovery efforts through the Miami Summer Jobs Connect program. Now in its seventh year, the City is once again partnering with the Citi Foundation, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) and the Overtown Youth Center to provide paid summer jobs and financial education to 200 Miami youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods through the CFE Fund's Summer Jobs Connect initiative. 

Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 coronavirus, this year's Miami Summer Jobs Connect class is moving forward full speed, with the 200 participating youth, ages 16 to 19, working remotely on a major public outreach project to gather resident feedback on the challenges of COVID-19 through phone interviews. The valuable data collected by the program's youth participants for the City's Recovery Survey will be used to refine and improve the City's long-term COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.

"As our community and our nation deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19, we're proud to offer this tremendous work and financial education experience to hundreds of local youth," said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. "Miamians are facing unprecedented challenges right now, and Miami Summer Jobs Connect provides a constructive - and truly productive - way to engage our young people and assist all Miamians in the process. We are grateful to our partners at the Citi Foundation, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and the Overtown Youth Center for their considerable support in making this program possible."

This year's program officially begins this week, with the 200 participating local youth convening virtually for a week-long training course, during which they will learn about the importance of personal finance management, the fundamentals of engaging on the phone in a business environment and the importance of gathering resident data. Beginning next Monday, July 13, and running through August 7, youth participants will complete their 5-week surveying project, with each working 20 hours per week from home. A smaller group of youth supervisors who have previously participated in Miami Summer Jobs Connect convened on June 22 for a two-week virtual training program that will help them guide their peers through this year's program. .

The Citi Foundation and CFE Fund's Summer Jobs Connect Initiative is built around financial empowerment and teaches youth the importance of saving and personal finance, while developing their work skills. Since its inception, Miami Summer Jobs Connect has placed nearly 1,100 Miami youth in summer jobs, resulting in more than $2.7 million dollars paid in wages and personal savings in excess of $400,000. During the summer, youth participants can earn up to $1,300 for their 5-week work assignment. 

“We are proud to connect young people with meaningful summer job experiences that will contribute to the City of Miami’s COVID-19 economic recovery efforts through our continued collaboration with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development, President of the Citi Foundation. “A summer job is a valuable opportunity to help youth develop leadership skills, understand how to manage their first paychecks, and lay the foundation for a strong financial future.”

The Overtown Youth Center (OYC) joined the Miami Summer Jobs Connect program in 2016 as local partners. OYC serves disadvantaged and at-risk youth from some of Miami's poorest neighborhoods year round, and their valued partnership has allowed the summer jobs program to significantly expand its programmatic reach and personal impact.

"During this challenging time of this global pandemic, OYC is extremely grateful to the City of Miami and Citi Foundation for giving local youth an opportunity to learn to adapt, persevere, pivot and understand that there are many different career options," said Tina Brown, CEO of the Overtown Youth Center. "This summer has provided us all an opportunity to demonstrate resiliency in our youth and their desire to be empowered through meaningful work experiences."

With the continuous partnership and generous support of the Citi Foundation, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and the Overtown Youth Center, the City of Miami is providing 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 achieve long-term success.