July 31, 2023 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner joined hundreds of Hire Houston Youth interns this morning to celebrate the end of a successful summer internship season full of resource connections, career readiness training, and financial literacy enhancement.
The event coined the “End of Summer Celebration,” was produced by the Human Resources Department and the Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement, where interns had the opportunity to meet one another, network with present employers, learn of available resources, and hear from a private sector employer and intern about their experiences with the program, as well as from Mayor Turner himself.
“Everyone that chose to participate in Hire Houston Youth and has completed or is in the process of completing an internship or job opportunity deserves to be celebrated. The youth of today have faced unprecedented times that involved a global pandemic, a national mental health crisis, and an increase in violence and yet, they have persevered.” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Hire Houston Youth serves as a facilitator to connect youth, ages 16 – 24, to eight-week paid local jobs and internships at the City of Houston and in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors where they are empowered with an “earn and learn” opportunity in Houston’s dynamic economy.
Mayor Turner included Hire Houston Youth in the One Safe Houston crime reduction initiative to reduce violence, prevent crime, provide increased crisis intervention, engage the community, and provide outreach opportunities to young people.
Hire Houston Youth ensures that Houston’s youth and young adults have alternative ways to spend their idle time and an opportunity to receive training and acquire skills needed for a successful path to higher education and future careers.
“Houston’s future is not only connected to the success of our local youth, but it is dependent on it,” said Human Resources Director Jane Cheeks. “Our youth deserve employment opportunities that connect them to the local workforce, allowing them to make informed choices about their future career path and contribute to Houston’s economy.”
These opportunities would not have been possible without the City of Houston’s corporate partners, community leaders, corporations and philanthropic entities.
The Class of 2023 interns are the last class of interns under Mayor Turner's administration.
"When I launched Hire Houston Youth in 2016 through my Office of Education and Youth Engagement, it was with the goal in mind that we would connect youth to local jobs where they are empowered with an “earn and learn” opportunity in Houston’s dynamic economy," says Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Looking at all of you is looking at a promise fulfilled. A promise to empower our youth through educational and employment opportunities."
The Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement worked to register over 600 employers to participate in the program, businesses that reflect current workforce trends and are diverse in nature.
Hire Houston Youth launched in 2016 with 450 City of Houston jobs and internships, but thanks to some of the key employers, such as Southwest, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Calpine, Amegy Bank, HP Inc., United Airlines, JP Morgan Chase, Houston Texans, Kroger, Randall’s, TxDOT, Local Owners/Operators of McDonalds, and Metro, Hire Houston Youth increased its reach from 450 youth to over 20,000 in 2023.
This year, supported by the technical and financial assistance provided by the National League of Cities, the program has offered the greatest number of summer internships in some of the key industries of Houston, such as engineering, IT/technology, finance, and more. “Boosting disconnected youth and young adults’ interaction and experience with STEM careers will increase their awareness of the career opportunities that these fields can offer,” said Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement Director Olivera Jankovska.
Although the summer is ending, it is not too late for youth to get involved. The Hire Houston Youth website still boasts thousands of internships and job opportunities that are available year-round! If you are an employer interested in joining Hire Houston Youth, please visit https://hirehoustonyouth.org/employers/, and if you are a youth or young adult wanting to register visit: https://hirehoustonyouth.org/youth/.