BALTIMORE — An annual program connecting Baltimore teenagers and young adults with summer jobs will continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, but will be scaled down to half its usual size and be made virtual, according to officials.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced Wednesday that the YouthWorks job program would offer 4,000 remote positions this year instead of the up to 8,000 that have been offered in the past, news outlets reported.
The five-week program, which employs workers aged 14 to 21, was set to begin in July. Participants would work for four hours each week day while making a minimum wage of $11 an hour, Young said. They would also have access to job coaches and other skills and educational training.
Officials did not detail what kind of remote jobs the workers would be performing.
The changes come as the shutdown of restaurants, hotels and other businesses has made finding jobs for young people more difficult, The Baltimore Sun quoted Jason Perkins-Cohen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, as saying. Some businesses were not able to make the contributions they had in previous years, he added.
YouthWorks received 14,000 applications for the program by February, and city officials said they hope to add more positions if the resources can be found, news outlets reported.
“We are responding, despite the challenges the COVID-19 virus has presented, because we understand the importance of helping our students learn, grow, and advance this summer,” Young said.