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St. Louis Summer Jobs Program Targets Youth Crime

Adam Allington
St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking the business community to step up to help fight crime in the city.

Slay says finding jobs for at-risk teens is the best way to keep them out of trouble.

The goal is to create 500, 8-week summer jobs for young people ages 16 to 23 in two pilot areas in North and South St. Louis.

The test neighborhoods in question have high populations of young people who face significant academic and social challenges.

“So we’re targeting at risk areas in our city and zip codes,” Slay says. “Those are areas where we have high concentrations of poverty, high level of crime, and low-performing students generally in those communities.”

The program, called “STL Youth Jobs,” is being funded through corporate and private donations.

“I’ve had meetings with business leaders and I’m also on the phone to raise private money,” says Slay. "It's $2,000 per job and our goal is to get 500 young people jobs during the summer.”

Slay says the jobs initiative came out of the city’s task force on youth violence prevention.

The program will also provide financial literacy and support programs throughout the year.

Businesses or individuals interested in contributing should contact the Mayor’s office, or visit STLyouthjobs.org/donate.

Follow Adam Allington on Twitter:  @aallington

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