Cook County Launches Opportunity Summer: 2022 Paid Summer Youth Internship Program
The program invests recovery dollars in career exploration, offering 200 suburban Cook County youth internships and connections to high-demand, high-growth sectors.
CHICAGO — (June 6, 2022) Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today the launch of Opportunity Summer, a paid summer internship program for suburban Cook County youth. The program matches youth in suburban Cook County with internships that allow for the exploration of careers in particular sectors. The seven-week program runs from Monday, June 13 to Friday, August 12, 2022, providing Cook County residents ages 16-24 with internships paying $15 an hour, 25 hours a week. Interested internship-seekers can apply at www.chicookworks.org/OppSummer.
“We know paid, industry-focused internship programs like Opportunity Summer provide young people with meaningful and important work experience that gives them a foundation for future full-time employment,” said President Preckwinkle. “Participants in this program will gain critical ‘soft skills,’ experience and knowledge that will position them to make a successful entry into the job market and set them up for life.”
The program aims to serve 200 suburban Cook County youth, providing them foundational skills training and career exposure through internship opportunities in their communities. Youth ages 16-24 are eligible and will gain paid work experience in a variety of sectors, including Manufacturing; Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; Healthcare; Information Technology (IT); and Hospitality and Tourism. In addition, several County agencies including the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and the Cook County Bureau of Asset Management's Department of Facilities Management will participate in the program as employers.
“These sector-focused internships are designed to address both distressed businesses recovering from economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and provide youth with paid opportunities that engage them in growing regional businesses,” said Patrick Combs, Interim CEO of The Partnership. “This program will connect hundreds of young people to career pathways in high-demand, high growth industries. It will expose them to viable family-sustaining career pathways, expand their skill sets, and connect them to the training and resources they may leverage one day need to achieve long-term employment.”
Cook County has provided $15 million from the American Rescue Plan Act for programs and services to support residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Opportunity Summer is part of the County’s new Career Connector program. The Partnership, the designated administrative agency for Chicago and Cook County’s federally funded public workforce system, the largest in the nation, will administer Career Connector.