Governor Martin O'Malley Celebrates Success of Baltimore Youth Employment Program
Governor shares lunch with student workers, encourages Maryland businesses to employ local youth next summer
BALTIMORE, MD (July 30, 2008) – Governor Martin O’Malley shared lunch with eight young employees of Mercy Medical Center today, all members of Baltimore City’s YouthWorks, a program that places well-trained, multi-skilled high school and college students into a six week summer employment with partnering businesses, governments, and organizations. State participation in the YouthWorks program has soared under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, working in partnership with Mayor Dixon and the City of Baltimore. Twenty-nine State agencies and offices now employ a combined 398 students for the summer of 2008, equaling an estimated investment of approximately $300,000 for YouthWorks this year alone, the highest participation ever by State government.
In praising the program, Governor O’Malley urged other Maryland businesses, governments, and organizations to consider hiring youth for next summer.
“When a young person is invested in a summer job, it not only provides an opportunity to earn a little extra money, but it also raises the confidence and sense of accomplishment for that young person,” noted Governor O’Malley. “This contributes to smarter students, safer neighborhoods, and a highly skilled and prepared workforce for the future. Every Maryland employer has an obligation to participate similarly toward the future of our young citizens.”
Governor O’Malley used the event to highlight the largest participation rate since the program’s inception. More than 6,500 young people were placed in summer jobs this year through YouthWorks, including nearly 400 employed by State government agencies and offices. Despite the location of several State agencies in the City of Baltimore, state agencies participated in the program only minimally under the previous administration.
“Today’s visit by Governor O’Malley to our YouthWorks site at Mercy highlights the tremendous collaboration among our business and government leaders that has made Baltimore City’s summer jobs program such a big success,” said Mayor Sheila Dixon. “Our young citizens are benefitting by learning the value of work and developing essential skills to become our productive future workforce.”
“Preparing Baltimore City’s future workforce is a vital part of our agency’s mission,” said Karen Sitnick, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. “Due to the strong partnerships developed by the Governor, the Mayor, and essential organizations like Mercy, YouthWorks 2008 has been our most successful summer jobs effort in many years.”
Today’s event took place at Mercy Medical Center, which has hosted one YouthWorks student for three of the past five years. This year, they increased their participation to eight students.
“Mercy believes in providing opportunities for Baltimore’s young people, from our work with nursing and pharmacy students to our partnership with the Cristo Rey Jesuit School’s corporate internship program. We’re very pleased to continue this tradition by participating in the City’s YouthWorks summer jobs campaign,” said Thomas R. Mullen, President and CEO of Mercy Health Services, Mercy Medical Center.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has invested over $3.5 million in youth summer employment programs, including 100 youth employed through the Department of Natural Resources’ Maryland Conservation Corps, a program created under Governor O’Malley. In addition to these youth employment efforts, in-state college tuition has remained frozen for three consecutive years, aid to community colleges has increased by nine percent compared to four years ago, and a record $5.3 billion has been invested in K-12 education, demonstrating that the future of Maryland’s youth remain a top priority.