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Baltimore, MD-6/24/15- Baltimore City Schools CEO Gregory Thornton stands behind Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake during a press conference outside City Hall announcing that the Youth Works city-business partnership has 8,000 summer jobs for Baltimore City youth. Amy Davis/ Baltimore Sun - #2404
Baltimore, MD-6/24/15- Baltimore City Schools CEO Gregory Thornton stands behind Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake during a press conference outside City Hall announcing that the Youth Works city-business partnership has 8,000 summer jobs for Baltimore City youth. Amy Davis/ Baltimore Sun - #2404 (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Every young person in Baltimore who applied to the city for a summer job will get one, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday.

The campaign to find work for an additional 3,000 young people began after the city's recent unrest and rioting. In all, 8,000 people, ages 14 to 21, will spend five weeks working — and earning a paycheck — at government agencies, nonprofits and businesses.

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"It is our obligation, as the leaders in this community, to make sure we do everything we can to connect our young people to those jobs, that we create a pipeline for our young people to these jobs, to these new opportunities," Rawlings-Blake said outside City Hall, flanked by members of the business community and elected officials. "The recent unrest in our city underscored just how important that is."

Following the rioting in late April, the One Baltimore initiative found jobs and donations to cover the salaries for the additional 3,000 young people who went through the lengthy application process, Rawlings-Blake said. The city's two programs, YouthWorks and Hire One Youth, originally could accommodate only 5,000 applicants.

Government agencies will pay half of the $10 million in salaries, with $1.7 million coming from the city and $3.3 million from the state. The rest is from foundations, businesses and individual donations.

About 5,600 participants will start work Monday. The rest will begin their jobs July 13.

They will be employed at 700 worksites, including 150 in the private sector. The jobs pay at least the minimum wage of $8.25 per hour.

Alexandra Odom, 20, will work as an intern at the landscape architecture firm Mahan Rykiel Associates. She has held jobs through the program since 2012, when she graduated from City College. Now a student at Grinnell College in Iowa, Odom said the chance to work has helped shape her educational trajectory.

"These experiences have been invaluable for the business experience that I have earned," Odom said. "Being able to be an intern at a landscape architecture firm as a history major lets me expand my view of what it means to be a historian."

Jason Perkins-Cohen, who leads the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, said research shows that holding summer jobs as a young person increases one's lifetime earnings. The experience also teaches soft skills that prepare workers for future opportunities, he said.

Perkins-Cohen said participants are working in every ZIP code across the city and in a variety of industries including medical, robotics and energy companies.

"This is not just about a summer job," he said.

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