STL Youth Jobs Receives $310,000 From the Citi Foundation and The Cities For Financial Empowerment Fund To Expand Summer Jobs And Financial Literacy

This summer’s funding will support more than 120 jobs for youths in St. Louis as well as enhance the STL Youth Jobs financial empowerment work

May 2, 2016 | 5 min reading time
STL Youth Jobs 2016 Logo

ST. LOUIS --STL Youth Jobs, now in its fourth 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 1,400 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 $310,000 to STL Youth Jobs in 2016 as a part of the Summer Jobs Connect initiative; the Citi Foundation has invested a total of $570,000 in St. Louis as part of the eight-city Summer Jobs Connect initiative. This summer’s funding will support more than 120 jobs for youths in St. Louis as well as enhance the STL Youth Jobs financial empowerment work, which includes financial education as well as access to a safe and affordable bank account. Prior to youth receiving their first paycheck, young people will learn the basics of responsible money choices, budgeting, savings and investing.

As part of the Summer Jobs Connect initiative, the CFE Fund and the Citi Foundation are supporting STL Youth Jobs as well as the Young Money Managers, youth who will teach their peers financial literacy and the importance of establishing bank and savings accounts. In addition, the CFE Fund recently released new focus group research that highlights youth participants’ beliefs and experiences about their financial goals; this new research report joins a three-report compendium that details how city partners made significant programmatic and infrastructure changes through Summer Jobs Connect to sustainably embed banking and savings strategies into Summer Youth Employment programs.

“This funding is very significant. Support from the Citi Foundation and the CFE Fund will provide employment for more than 120 teens and young adults living in neighborhoods with high poverty, crime, and low educational attainment,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “The investment in young people from the Citi Foundation and the CFE Fund 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 Mayor Slay, along with the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, to connect more St. Louis youth with summer job opportunities and the early money management skills that help build a strong financial future," said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. "These first-job experiences can serve as a teachable moment for young people and help start them on a path to career success."

“A summer job, and the steady paycheck it provides, is a natural jumping off point to start youth on a path to the financial mainstream—and our new research shows that youth, themselves, have powerful and positive financial goals that are boosted by these critical financial empowerment strategies,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “The CFE Fund is proud to partner with the Citi Foundation and the City of St. Louis to bring targeted financial education and banking access to St. Louis youth.”

With support of the Citi Foundation and the CFE Fund, and in partnership with the Office of the Treasurer, 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 by 1stFinancial 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 2015, 95% of STL Youth Jobs participants were banked and enrolled in direct deposit. Youth participants saved over $70,000.

“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.”

“At 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, we are focused on meeting young people at the door as they enter the work force and giving them the tools they need to build a strong and healthy financial future,” says Carol Minges, CEO of 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “Since we began this partnership in 2013 we have seen nearly 43% of the youth set and meet short term savings goals with the use of automatic savings allocations. From the very start, we are asking them to think of their future and set attainable goals for success.”

The idea for STL Youth Jobs came from Mayor Francis Slay’s St. Louis Regional Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and is a signature intervention strategy incorporated into the City’s Prevention, Intervention, Enforcement, and Reentry (PIER) Plan.

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 Francis Slay, the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE), St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green, 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 Slay has once again committed nearly $300,000 of City resources to support youth employment in summer 2016. Governor Jay Nixon has also provided funding for an additional 500 jobs this summer. The Citi Foundation’s generous support, coupled with these public investments and other private donations, will allow over 1,000 at-risk teenagers and young adults to gain employment. While this exceeds the Mayor’s Sustainability Action Agenda goal of 500 summer jobs, there is 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 Facebookwww.facebook.com/stlyouthjobs

  • Department:
    Office of the Mayor
    St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment
  • Topic:
    Youth Employment

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