Mayor expands Kansas City summer youth employment program - KCTV5

Mayor expands Kansas City summer youth employment program

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Almost 50 young culinary students who helped cater the mayor's event Wednesday walked away with summer jobs. (KCTV5) Almost 50 young culinary students who helped cater the mayor's event Wednesday walked away with summer jobs. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Dozens of young culinary students who helped cater the mayor's event Wednesday walked away with summer jobs.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says 31,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are not in school and not working.

James announced the expansion of an initiative he hopes will help bring those numbers down.

"It keeps them off the streets, gives them a sense of responsibility. It gives them a sense of purpose. It gives them a sense of honor,” James said.

Hire KC Youth started as a program at City Hall that hires the next generation. But with so many young people looking for opportunities, the program has gone city wide.

It is a concept the mayor himself can personally attest to.

"It was important for us, and it gave me an ethic that I needed,” James said.

It was also an ethic the culinary students at Manual Career and Technical Center had as they catered the event.

“Cooking in general … I’ve always liked cooking since I was five. Of course I made many mistakes then, but it was still good,” culinary student Victor Solis said.

But an unexpected announcement from the Restaurant Association changed the summer plans for the students, offering a job for every single one of them this summer.

"I’m thankful for the job. I was currently going to go looking for one when I finished completing some requirements for graduation, so this helps out a lot more,” Solis said.

Along with Solis, 49 culinary students were hired. The hope is all businesses in the city do the same.

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