KC's Mayor Expands City's Youth Employment Program

Feb 22, 2017

Trainee chefs Dominique Bynum (left) and Ty!Reke Maple prepared a breakfast for the attendees and enjoyed the morning's summer job announcement. Both are with the culinary arts program at Manual Career and Technical Center.
Credit Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James has announced the expansion of the Hire KC Youth program into a city-wide initiative. The program offers about 200 summer internships but the Mayor appealed to about 80 businesspeople and employment groups at a breakfast meeting to provide more.  

“There is no better social program than a job,” said James. “And when kids have work, when they have a sense of responsibility, then their entire world opens up and barriers and walls fall.”

At the meeting Monday morning, Kansas City Restaurant Association’s Kevin Timmons responded to the  Mayor's call, offering internships to the 49 culinary arts students who prepared the breakfast.

“I want to make an announcement today that we have a job for every single one of you this summer,” said Timmons.

The student cooks, who are part of the culinary arts program at Manual Career and Technical Center, didn’t know about the announcement beforehand and smiled collectively. Dan Hogan, one of their chef instructors, appreciates the efforts of the Hire KC Youth program. "It's great that the community is making an active effort to employ our youth," he said.

The turn-out at the breakfast offered promise: about 80 businesspeople and employment groups were represented, including companies like KCP&L and Black and Veatch. Mayor James and Hire KC Youth hope these metro businesses follow the Restaurant Association’s lead.

Danny Wood is a freelance reporter.