Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Monday she wants to expand her summer jobs program to a record 9,400 young people, but more Baltimore businesses and community groups need to provide work and funding.

The city has jobs lined up for 7,000 youths — ages 14 to 21 — that will pay at least minimum wage, Rawlings-Blake said. Nearly 80 businesses are participating in the program, which operates with the help of businesses, government, philanthropies and individuals.

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The mayor said she wants to find work and funding for the remaining 2,400 young people who applied.

Last year, the Rawlings-Blake administration scrambled after the spring's unrest and successfully found jobs for the 8,000 young people who applied. Historically, the program has provided summer jobs for 5,000.

"I am here to plead for your help again," Rawlings-Blake said at a news conference. "Our need this year is even greater. We have a record number of young people who completed the applications."

The jobs program falls under two companion initiatives: YouthWorks and Hire One Youth. Youthworks, which focuses on younger teens, offers jobs largely in the public sector; Hire One Youth is focused on jobs in the private sector for older teens and young adults.

Under the program, the young people are hired to work for 25 hours a week in a wide variety of jobs, including aiding hospital administrators, cleaning up parks and painting murals to beautify the city. The five-week program has two phases. The first begins June 27 and the second starts July 11.

Patrick McCarthy, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, challenged Baltimore groups to match a $250,000 donation from the charity. That is on top of $1 million the Casey Foundation previously pledged, including $500,000 that was contingent on other businesses joining together to match that amount.

McCarthy said when the foundation asked young people after the unrest what they needed or wanted to be successful, "time and time again, the first thing that came up was, 'I want a job. I want to work. I want dignity. I want an opportunity to show what I can do.' "

In their first or second jobs, McCarthy said, young people learn the importance of showing up to work on time, how to network and how to resolve conflicts or differences of opinion in a professional setting.

But the benefit, he said, is not only to youths.

"It knits together our community so we are one community threaded together in mutual support," McCarthy said.

The city needs roughly $1.5 million to pay the remaining applicants. Officials also need to find 2,400 jobs.

MedStar Health expects to hire 50 young people, up from 40 last year. The youths will be matched to jobs based on their interests, assigned mentors and provided breakfast and lunch. They also could be hired full time.

"It's about providing opportunities to the youth here in Baltimore City and laying the foundation and a pathway for them," said Bradley S. Chambers, president of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

Jason Perkins-Cohen, who leads the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, said donations to the program through the Baltimore City Foundation are tax-deductible. While the city hopes to find jobs for as many of the applicants as possible, he said the first goal is to find work for another 1,000 young people, matching last year's employment.

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"We're doing great, but we need more," Perkins-Cohen said.

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