PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined local elected officials at Manual Academy to discuss local jobs supported by the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Mayor Jim Ardis opened the event by thanking the governor for being at the event and introduce the first speaker, Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.
Desmoulin-Kherat thanked the governor for giving 218 young people the opportunity to benefit from the program. She said the program helped youth all across Peoria learn job-readiness skills and part-time employment.
Before speaking about the program Pritzker addressed the shooting on the riverfront that injured 13 people.
“No one should ever experience the trauma of a shooting or multiple ones, so may that belief fuel our work to bring peace to a state that we all call home,” Pritzker said.
“As governor, I will continue my mission to make this state a partner in investing in the very things that we now reduce violence to bring about the peace that Illinoisans deserve. That means better schools and mental health services. It means violence prevention programs and good jobs and more pathways for our young people to access them.”
District Career Coordinator Sarah Chapman said she is thankful for the nine success coaches in the program who recruit, train, and mentor over 200 at-risk youth in Peoria.
“We have worked with (the youth) to write their first resumes, how to dress appropriately for an interview and for the workplace, and how to practice for a successful interview,” Chapman said.
“We would then encourage them, give feedback and direction, and really get to know and find out what they want to do and who they want to be, and maybe how this experience could be their first step in reaching their goals.”
So far more than 40 businesses are a part of the program. Businesses that want to sign up for the program can sign up here.
Students or youth aged 16-24 who want to sign up for the program can sign up here.