July 1, 2013
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) together with the Chicago Department of Family Support Services (DFSS) announced today that 245 youth and residents from Sending and Welcoming School communities have been hired to fill summer positions that will assist with school transition work. In total, more than 800 members from these school communities are being hired as part this work, which includes another 600 community members who will serve in the District’s expanded Safe Passage program and provide safe routes for students to and from school every day starting this fall.
“Engaging youth and community members as our partners in this work is part of our shared mission of providing children with a safe and seamless transition to Welcoming Schools in the fall,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “We want to take every opportunity to work side by side with our communities in this effort as we work towards putting all of our Chicago’s children on a path to success.”
Individuals were selected through the One Summer Chicago initiative, which streamlines summer job applications and fills employment opportunities available to Chicago residents ages 16-24. All 200 new hires will be assigned to specific Sending and Welcoming schools to execute responsibilities that include packing up learning tools and moving furniture and other school materials to Welcoming Schools based on their needs.
The remaining 45 hires were brought on earlier this month to serve as dedicated information technology (IT) teams charged with disabling, transporting, and installing technology equipment for all Sending and Welcoming Schools. Together, the 245 youth and community members play an integral role in ensuring that students will have the necessary resources at their Welcoming Schools on the first day of the 2013-14 school year.
“This effort allows us to keep even more of our youth engaged during the summer months, provides them with valuable paid work experience and facilitates a smooth transition for impacted students to their new schools in the fall. It is definitely a win-win opportunity,” said Evelyn J. Diaz, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services.
Candidates for summer transition work were chosen by lottery from applicants who live in the neighborhoods surrounding Sending and Welcoming Schools. The 45 hires dedicated to IT were selected and screened by EDSI, a specialized workforce solutions company that organizes and conducts breakdowns and transfers on a project-basis. The 200 applicants hired last week to move furniture and learning materials were screened and selected by two organizations, Catholic Charities and Central States SER, and operate work hours daily from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. All summer transition work hires earn $8.25 per hour, and are provided lunch along with a $50 Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stipend. Positions for transition will operate through August 24.
Safe Passage workers will be hired through 19 new community-based vendors. These vendors will hire an additional 600 Safe Passage workers for the 2013-2014 school year as part of the program’s expansion to 51 Welcoming Schools this fall. The role of a Safe Passage worker is to monitor designated routes that students walk to and from school. These additional Safe Passage positions are central to providing a smooth and safe transition for the 30,000 students at all Sending and Welcoming Schools.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.