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Governor and Mayor Visit MICA’s YouthWorks Participants

$2.8 Million in State, City Investments to Support Summer Jobs for Youth in Baltimore

Posted 07.10.13 by MICA Communications

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Governor and Mayor Visit MICA’s YouthWorks Employees

Today, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake visited MICA to announce a combined $2.8 million in investments to create over 2,300 summer jobs for local youth through Baltimore City's YouthWorks program while visiting with 20 YouthWorks participants currently employed by the College this summer. 

Baltimore City's dedicated private sector, including MICA, contributes significantly to the YouthWorks program. Together, state, city and private sector investments in YouthWorks have created over 5,000 jobs for Baltimore City youth this summer at more than 545 worksites throughout the city.

VIEW: Photos from the governor and mayor's visit.

"There is no progress without jobs. By making better choices to support initiatives like YouthWorks, our State continues to expand opportunity and give teens a work experience that will serve them not just this summer, but on the way to the next step of their careers," said Governor O'Malley. "Together with our local partners, we continue to provide our youth with job opportunities that will strengthen their skills and prepare our workforce for the 21st century economy."

YouthWorks, operated by the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development, places young people between the ages of 14 and 21 in six-week summer jobs with private sector, nonprofit, and city and state government employers throughout the city, where they develop familiarity with the workplace, become better prepared to meet employers' expectations, and gain exposure to career opportunities in the Baltimore metropolitan area's high growth industries.

"MICA's partnership with YouthWorks is another example of our longstanding commitment to integrating community engagement into everything we do," said Fred Lazarus IV, president of MICA. "Like our academic programs, our work with these fantastic young people emphasizes our belief in the power of their potential. We are committed to not only helping them understand the empowering nature of employment, but also to exposing them to role models and professional development programming that can help them chart a path to fulfilling careers and productive citizenship."

In its first year participating as a YouthWorks host site, MICA serves as a model of an engaged YouthWorks partner. Working under the jurisdiction of the Operations Division, the College directly hired 10 students through Hire One Youth, and is serving as a YouthWorks worksite for an additional 10.

"Baltimore is grateful for the strong investment by Governor O'Malley, and the State of Maryland, to help fund our 2013 summer jobs program," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "Through our Hire One Youth initiative, YouthWorks is a worthy example of a public-private partnership that results in positive work experiences that benefit our young people, businesses, and our communities." Hire One Youth is an initiative launched by Mayor Rawlings-Blake in 2012 to challenge Baltimore employers to join the City in creating valuable private sector summer employment opportunities for Baltimore's older YouthWorks participants.

During the governor and mayor's visit, YouthWorks participant Hakeem Muhammad said, "I appreciate the opportunity to participate in YouthWorks because it helps me get ready for the responsibility and hard work that's waiting for me out in the world. Also, I appreciate working at MICA because it has degree programs in which I would like to study in a field in which I would like to have a career, graphic design. So, not only am I getting ready for responsibility through YouthWorks, I'm working at a College in which have I have great interest."

Tiffani Cooper, who has been a YouthWorks participant since summer 2007 and has her sights on becoming a hotel owner said, "Working here at MICA has taught me many different things as far as life, customer service, and treating people the way that they want to be treated... MICA is helping me master how to interact with people and how to maintain good quality customer service. Most important is learning about different cultures and works of art. I'm learning what a world class institution looks and feels like."

Previously, YouthWorks co-sponsored and helped support a MICA M.A. and M.F.A. in Community Arts summer program for several years. The program partnered with high school students to implement youth art programs at several sites each summer in Baltimore, and some of the high school students ended up attending the College.

"MICA continues to work hard to lead the integration of art and design education with community engagement in a way that enhances Baltimore, and all of Maryland, culturally and economically," Chair of the MICA Board of Trustees Fredye Gross said.