STL Youth Jobs Receives $297,000 from the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to Expand Summer Jobs and Financial Literacy

STL Youth Jobs engages young adults in meaningful employment to reduce crime, increase academic success and build skills to build a lasting career. 

May 23, 2017 | 4 min reading time

ST. LOUIS -- STL Youth Jobs, now in its fifth year of providing jobs to youth, ages 16-24, in the City of St. Louis, receives major commitment to expand summer jobs and financial empowerment. STL Youth Jobs engages young adults in meaningful employment to reduce crime, increase academic success and build the skills needed to build a lasting career. Since 2013, STL Youth Jobs has provided nearly 2,000 youth with paid work experience, job readiness and financial literacy training, career and mentoring services.    

The Citi Foundation, with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund  (CFE Fund), has provided $297,000 to STLYouth Jobs in 2017 as a part of its Summer Jobs Connect initiative. In total, the Citi Foundation has invested $866,400 in St. Louis as part of its thirteen-city Summer Jobs Connect initiative.

This year’s investment will provide 160 summer jobs for St. Louis youth as well as enhance the financial empowerment services provided by STL Youth Jobs and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE). 

Youth participants receive financial education and access to a free checking and savings account, provided by 1stFinancial Federal Credit Union. To support this education and enhance the depth of knowledge gained, youth participants will also receive ongoing tips and ideas from their peers. These Young Money Managers will help youth build positive financial behaviors through group encouragement and reinforcing conversations about saving, budgeting and responsible money choices. Funding from Citi Foundation will also provide technology upgrades to 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, streamlining the account opening process for youth.  

A photo ID card is often a required component of getting a job and opening a bank account—both important factors for youth seeking a way to earn and save money. This funding will help provide youth with a state issued picture ID.

“It is a priority of my administration to provide our City’s young people with summer job opportunities. This investment from the Citi Foundation and the CFE Fund to provide employment for more than 160 teens and young adults living in neighborhoods with high poverty, crime, and low educational attainment is significant,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “This investment will not only allow our City’s young people to earn a paycheck but will also empower them to manage and keep their hard earned money.”

"We are proud to continue our collaboration with St. Louis for a third year and work with Mayor Krewson to connect more of the city's youth with summer job opportunities," said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. "These workplace and early money management skills are crucial to young people becoming career-ready and realizing long-term success."

“A summer job can be even more than a paycheck – it also can be the start of important financial decisions like joining a bank or credit union, getting direct deposit, budgeting, and saving” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “We applaud Mayor Krewson’s commitment to prioritizing financial education and banking access for young St. Louis residents, and are proud to join our partners at the Citi Foundation to support that meaningful financial empowerment work.”

With support of the Citi Foundation and the CFE Fund, STL Youth Jobs will continue to set young people on a path towards lifelong positive money management by providing education that will help them develop the skills to budget and establish savings as well access to his/her own free checking and savings accounts. The accounts provided by1st Financial Federal Credit Union are easy to use as they’re linked to debit cards, and the youth also have direct deposit and automatic allocations to savings accounts. In 2016, 96% of STL Youth Jobs participants were banked and enrolled in direct deposit. Youth participants saved $131,237.

“Making positive change in the lives of young people from neighborhoods with high poverty and crime can be overwhelming. Oftentimes, the needs are enormous and the resources don’t measure up,” said Hillary Frey, Executive Director, STL Youth Jobs. “However, thanks to this generous funding from the Citi Foundation and CFE Fund, and the extensive partnerships with the Treasurer’s office, SLATE and 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, significant changes are taking place for city’s young people. Ultimately, this is the perfect formula.”

“We know that financial habits, good or bad, are learned early on in life,” says Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones. “The investment from the Citi Foundation and CFE Fund is essential because it introduces safe and affordable banking products to STL Youth Jobs participants as they gain meaningful employment experience. Simply put, we are helping young people make better choices with their money.”

“Financial capability is about so much more than an account or financial literacy,” says Carol Minges, CEO of 1stFinancial Federal Credit Union. “Financial capability only occurs when offering appropriate financial tools and education at the right time. 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is so honored to once again be partnering with STLYouth Jobs to serve the amazing young people in our City as they start their jobs and begin using important financial tools and education.” 

STL Youth Jobs is a cross-sector collaboration made up of a diverse group of civic, corporate and community stakeholders. STL Youth Jobs strives to bridge the divide between the challenges facing our region’s youth and the growing demands of our local workforce.  STL Youth Jobs utilizes its strategic partnerships to leverage resources and support, which allows for more St. Louis youth to be connected to meaningful summer work experiences. Collaborative and strategic partnerships include Mayor Lyda Krewson, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones, the Incarnate Word Foundation, the St. Louis Community Foundation and MERS Goodwill.   

STL Youth Jobs is successful because of private and public funding. It costs about $2,500 to fund one youth employee’s job. Mayor Krewson has committed nearly $300,000 of City resources to support youth employment in summer 2017. The Citi Foundation’s generous support, coupled with these public investments and other private donations, will allow over 700 at-risk teenagers and young adults to gain employment. Despite the creation of these opportunities for St. Louis youth, there is also a waiting list for employment. To help fund a youth job or to learn more about the program, visit STLYouth Jobs online.

For more information on STL Youth Jobs, visit www.stlyouthjobs.org, follow on Twitter @stlyouthjobs or visit Facebook www.facebook.com/stlyouthjobs

Press Details

Interviews available with:

  • STL Youth Jobs participants
  • Mayor Lyda Krewson, City of St. Louis
  • Shawn Kormanek, COO, Mortgage Operations, Citi
  • Hillary Frey, Executive Director, STL Youth Jobs
  • Michael Holmes, Executive Director, St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment
  • Tracy Verner, Community Development Manager, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union
  • Jared Boyd, Chief of Staff, Office of Treasurer Tishaura Jones
  • Department:
    Office of the Mayor
  • Topic:
    Youth Employment

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