Bank of America supports immersive work experiences at local nonprofits through Hire KC Youth summer pilot



Kansas City Mayor Sly James is proud to announce that Bank of America has awarded a $55,000 grant to support a key aspect of the Hire KC Youth program – a summer pilot that includes immersive internships at local nonprofit organizations.

Many of Kansas City’s leading employers offer summer internships and work-based experiences for high school and college students, and the Hire KC Youth initiative provides centralized and inclusive access to a large variety of internships and seasonal jobs for youth.  The goal of Mayor James’ signature youth program is to connect local kids to future careers and illuminate those pathways to boost work-readiness.  This summer Hire KC Youth has expanded beyond the City Hall program into a citywide initiative, operated and managed by the KC Social Innovation Center, and in partnership with the Full Employment Council.

“Bank of America’s support represents the core principles of this program. Hire KC Youth is about public-private investment in the next generation of Kansas City’s workforce and community. Their gift furthers our ability to provide next generation training and education that prepares people for the workforce. Most importantly, it means more Kansas City kids will have new opportunities to work with adults who are committed to their success,” said Mayor James.

“Addressing issues that are fundamentally connected to economic mobility – like access to workforce development opportunities – is critical to building a pathway to economic progress,” said Gary Jankowitz, Kansas City market president, Bank of America. “With a productive workforce in place, and providing employment opportunities for the next generation, we will enable communities throughout Kansas City to grow sustainably. This is why we’re proud to partner with Mayor James’ Hire KC Youth initiative by providing a $55,000 grant to KC Social Innovation Center to manage immersive summer internships for Kansas City youth.

The Kansas City metropolitan area ranks as the nation’s 12th highest population under the age of 18 (per capita), highlighting the need for industry and education to align resources and to collaborate to create more pathways to careers and regional workforce needs.   Hire KC Youth provides a web-based clearinghouse of jobs and internship opportunities for high school and college students, and helps to democratize access for the region’s more than 30,000 16-24 year-olds who are neither employed nor enrolled in school.

This summer, Hire KC Youth embarks on an innovative pilot that aims to reinvent youth internships by introducing a new tech-based platform, educators as coaches, professional development cohorts, and a turnkey hiring model that offers employers a less risky, easier to manage way to host youth on site, while delivering an authentic learning experience, 21st Century skills, digital badges and real-world projects for youth.  Bank of America’s financial support connects this pilot to qualified area nonprofits that applied for funding support for unique internships and work-based experiences this summer.

“There is the opportunity gap, and then there’s the skills gap, too,” said Kari Keefe, Executive Director, KC Social Innovation Center. “We need innovations that can address the complex problems of our region by connecting and engaging youth in meaningful experiences while understanding the market forces that drive our economy – that’s where we come in,” said Keefe.  “Hire KC Youth is the platform that connects industry and education.”


About Hire KC Youth

Hire KC Youth is a citywide initiative dedicated to unlocking opportunity and connecting youth to future careers in Kansas City.  Its mission is to democratize opportunity by organizing and aligning industry and education systems to develop and deploy innovative, next-generation youth workforce programs.  Hire KC Youth is managed by the KC Social Innovation Center, in coordination with FEC as the workforce partner. Both agencies utilize their connections to businesses, nonprofits, philanthropy, schools and higher education and workforce agencies to convene, organize and create meaningful opportunities and worksite experiences for the young people in the Kansas City region; and to provide support and resources for businesses that pledge to hire youth.

About the KC Social Innovation Center

The KC Social Innovation Center is a nonprofit impact agent dedicated to catalyzing innovations in education, learning and workforce development. Its goal is to harness technology to create economic and social impact around youth learning and workforce initiatives in digital cities.

About Bank of America

At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of the work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocate groups, such as community and environmental organizations, in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more, and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.

Contact: James Roberts office: 816.513.6579 or cell: 816.301.9114