Mayor Landrieu Unveils 2016 Summer Youth Recreation, Job Opportunities And Free Summer Meal Program

NEW ORLEANS— Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials unveiled a robust package of recreation and job opportunities that are available to New Orleans youth this summer. Opportunities are available in all five city council districts through the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and NOLA Youth Works, the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Additionally, the City and its partner, Share Our Strength, announced plans to provide free meals to youth this summer. In total, the City is committing nearly $3 million to summer programming this year.

         “Since 2010, we have been laser focused on investing in the things that matter—our children,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Providing quality, safe and engaging summer opportunities for all of the children in New Orleans remains one of my top priorities. Summer programs, activities and jobs targeted at youth benefit the entire city by providing a structured setting in which young people can learn and grow.”


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         This year, NORDC will offer 34 youth camps (ages 4-12) that will serve over 3,900 kids across the city through partnerships with schools, non-profits and faith-based organizations. The programming offers a wide array of academic, cultural and recreational activities, including free field trips to the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas and NORDC pools for water safety lessons. Registration for partner-sponsored camps and programming is now open, and parents can visit NORDC’s website for a full list of opportunities and instructions on how to register their children. Free breakfast and lunch will be provided.

         NORDC will offer 13 teen camps (ages 13-15), which will serve 1,000 teens across the city. In partnership with JOB1, the City’s office of workforce development, teen camps will offer local teenagers career exploration seminars to expose participants to a variety of job fields. Free breakfast, lunch and field trips are provided. Additionally, teens will earn a stipend of $75 per week. Teen Camp applications are accepted by scheduled appointments only. For more information

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         NORDC Chief Executive Officer Vic Richard said, “Each year, NORDC commits to providing a robust menu of summer services for youth and teens across our entire city. We are making aggressive strides toward becoming a model recreation department for the country, and the summer time opens up a great opportunity for us to share our expanded youth programs with the community.”



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         The Mayor’s 2016 NOLA Youth Works Summer Employment Program will serve over 800 young people ages 13-21 with five program offerings. NOLA Youth Works partners with private and non-profit companies and organizations to provide quality summer experiences at safe, structured and properly supervised environments. Youth summer employment opportunities will improve the overall education of the individual participants and help to build the capacity of our local knowledge-based workforce.

         Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Economic Opportunity Ashleigh Gardere said, “It’s important that we all do our part to invest in the future of our city. Providing summer youth employment is a critical tool to prepare young people to join the workforce. We are creating pathways to prosperity by investing in real world work experiences for the populations most in need in our community. I commend our business partners for stepping up again this year to hire New Orleans youth.”

         The City has committed nearly $1 million for the 2016 program. As in past years, local businesses are encouraged to help the City meet its goal of providing paid job experiences for all eligible and interested youth. The City depends on full participation from both the public and private sectors in order to solve the skilled workforce shortage and provide a pathway to prosperity for our young men and women.

         Again this year, Mayor Landrieu is calling on local businesses and organizations to sign up to be part of the program. Prospective employers can learn more about the program here.


         For 2016, NOLA Youth Works includes the following programs Work and Learn Program:


• Work and Learn Program, June 13-July 15, 2016 – With programming from various community partners, Work and Learn provides participants with grade level-specific instruction, as well as career exploration, job readiness and project-based learning activities. Participants receive a $100 weekly stipend for 20 hours.


• Signature Program, June 13-July 15, 2016 – A compilation of unique summer experiences, the Signature Program will provide participants opportunities in industries such as film and architecture. They will be immersed in learning through projects, community service, presentations and field trips. Participants will earn a $100 weekly stipend for 20 hours.


• Traditional Program, June 13-July 15, 2016 – Youth will be engaged in a youth-friendly environment and receive hands-on experience that is reflective of the job placement. Participants will receive $8 an hour for 20 hours weekly.


• Junior Camp Counselor, June 6-July 8, 2016 – These youth will serve as camp counselors at various campsites throughout the metro area. Participants will receive $8 an hour for 30 hours weekly.


• Intern Nola Program, June 6-July 8, 2016 – Participants in this program, who will be selected based on their resumes and interviews, will intern in a local business, non-profit organization or public office. Internship positions will focus on research and short-term projects that provide impact to the host organization. Participants earn $10 an hour for 25-30 hours weekly.


         Applications for NOLA Youth Works are accepted by appointment only. Youth and parents may visit the NOLA Youth Works website for full program information and to schedule an appointment. Space is limited, so the City strongly encourages participants to apply early.



         In 2010, Share Our Strength joined with Mayor Landrieu to launch the New Orleans “No Kid Hungry” campaign, a public-private partnership working to end childhood hunger in New Orleans. The campaign is working toward that goal by connecting kids to federal nutrition programs including free school breakfast, free after-school meals and free meals during the summer.

         This summer, the City and its partners are aggressively working to coordinate free summer meals for all NORDC summer camps by linking them to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. These sponsors prepare meals for over 130 locations. Including NORDC summer camps and recreation centers, Housing Authority of New Orleans Sites, many local churches and community based organizations. Any child under the age of 18 may participate.

         The U.S. Department of Agriculture and additional sponsors will ensure all meals are free to summer camp participants. Last summer, the City served over 750,000 meals throughout the summer to kids across the city thanks to our many partners providing meals including Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteers of America, Healthy School Food Collaborative, Orleans Parish School Board, Sodexo, Revolution Foods and Chartwells.

         New Orleans No Kid Hungry Director Rhonda Jackson said, “Summer is the hungriest time of year for so many kids in New Orleans. Summer meals can close the gap between the kids who have enough to eat and those who don’t. And when our kids get the healthy food they need, all summer long, they feel better and are ready to learn more once school starts. That means stronger kids, and that means a stronger city."

         In addition, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is proud to continue fighting hunger in the communities Sodexo serves by adding the City of New Orleans to its Feeding Our Future program. Sodexo’s dining services team at Tulane University will provide an additional 12,000 meals to a number of community centers throughout the city to provide above-and-beyond, supplemental support for New Orleans youth.

         Sodexo North America Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications Jennifer Williamson said, “Several public and private efforts work to bridge the meal gap for kids during the summer months. Feeding Our Future is one example and is unique because it gives Sodexo teams a way to give back to the communities where they live and work. Sodexo has a long history of mobilizing local communities; our Stop Hunger initiatives have been around for 20 years.”

         City Council President Jason Williams said, “The NORDC Summer youth initiative is a very important aspect of our summer youth programs. I proudly support giving our young men and women an opportunity and valuable work experience.”

         District E Councilmember James A. Gray II said, “Youth summer employment is not just about putting money in kid’s pockets. The Mayor’s summer jobs program plays a crucial role in teaching our children skills marketable in today’s workplace, and provides our kids with constructive supervision during the summer months when they’re out of school. That‘s why we’ve made funding NORDC jobs and recreation programs a priority.”

         District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, "This is a great opportunity for our teenagers, because it will provide real life job experiences. As kids mature into teenagers and young adults, it's critical for them to be exposed to the work environment, gaining an edge in the competitive job market. The City is investing in our youth and that's a win/win for everyone involved. I encourage local businesses and organizations to step up and become part of this vital community effort."

         District A Councilmember Susan Guidry said, “Research has shown that teens who have access to meaningful workforce development and employment programs end up on the right path to succeed in their career goals, thereby reducing the unemployment rate. At-risk teens who get summer jobs also reduce their chances of dropping out of school and are less likely to have idle time. The NORDC summer job program will allow teens to begin their work experience at a younger age, establishing a foundation to build a brighter future.”

         District D Councilmember Jared Brossett said, “As the summer approaches, we are offering skill building, job training, and recreational opportunities for our youth through the NORDC and NOLA Youth Works Summer Employment Program. This program will pair teens with summer jobs and internships that meet their interests and career goals as well as build their capacity to contribute to their communities and the City of New Orleans. I encourage interested parents and youth of age to attend and take advantage of the city’s initiative to create meaningful job and learning opportunities.”



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