Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and the City of Evanston today received first place for small cities in the U.S. Conference of Mayors second annual National Summer Youth Jobs Challenge.

The award honors outstanding achievement in innovative partnerships between a city and the business and non-profit community to help provide youth with meaningful summer job experiences.

The Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program in Evanston reached its highest job fair attendance yet last year with 610 participants and was able to provide 500 jobs for local youth.

Funding sources included the city’s Community Development Block Grant Committee; a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Homeless and Runaway Youth Grant; an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Youth Recreation Corps Grant and the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The city has also partnered with the Youth Job Center and Evanston Township High School to expand the program.

Mayor Tisdahl says the program “enables young people to gain valuable skills, training and workplace values that lead them towards career pathways that benefit Evanston. I am very grateful for local businesses and non-profits who have participated in this program, showing their commitment as community leaders.”

Jobs ranged from administrative personnel, child care assistants, camp counselors, park aids, library assistants, data entry clerks and legislative interns.

This year, the programs job fair will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. Application forms will be available online in advance of the fair. More information is available online.

The National Summer Youth Jobs Challenge award was presented during The U.S. Conference of Mayors 83rd Annual Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. About 100 mayors, USCM business council members, USCM Workforce Development Council members and other workforce development professionals from major cities across the country attend the meeting each year.

Tisdahl discussed the program Wednesday on a conference panel that also included mayors Greg Fischer of Louisville, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Mike Rawlings of Dallas and Paul Soglin of Madison, Wis.

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