Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Announces Summer Youth Jobs Program
Sponsor a Summer, Change a Future

April 7, 2016 -- With several community partners and students at his side, Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off Hire Houston Youth, his new initiative to provide summer internships and jobs to youth ages 16 to 24.  The mayor is helping to jump start the program with a guarantee of 450 jobs at City Hall, City parks and libraries, and other facilities.  He is issuing a call to action to the local business community to join what the city is doing.

"Summer employment provides young people with an opportunity to gain workforce readiness skills, engages them in positive activities during the summer, and links them to long-term career opportunities,” said Mayor Turner.  “An able and ready workforce is also critical in ensuring a robust economic future for our city. I am committed to providing summer jobs for our young people who live in the city. I am calling on our corporate partners and community organizations to work together with the City of Houston to Hire Houston’s Youth!"

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than a third of American teenagers held a job last summer, and their participation in the workforce is at a historic low. For at-risk youth, having a meaningful job – even for the summer – decreases their likelihood of dropping out of school.

“When an opportunity to learn more at work becomes available, you should take it because it helps open up other possibilities,” said Stephen F. Austin High School graduate Juan Vela, who worked at the Houston Department of Parks and Recreation last summer.  Vela is now working full time at the parks department and is saving money for tuition at Houston Community College where he hopes to obtain his commer­cial Driver’s License (CDL). He dreams of eventually owning a trucking company.

The application period for Hire Houston Youth opens April 18 and closes May 6, 2016.  Applicants will attend workforce readiness training one week prior to their start date. They will also receive career coaching and other benefits to prepare them for the future.  Once on the job, they will work from 32-40 hours a week for seven weeks and be paid at least $8.00 an hour.

There are three ways businesses can help:

  1. Hire and pay the salary of a Hire Houston Youth applicant and pledge $150 to support the program.
  2. Pledge $3,000 to sponsor a youth’s salary and other training and benefits.
  3. Support the initiative with a tax deductible donation through the website at