Summer Jobs for Teens in Chicago
Connecting Youth to a Successful Future
with a Summer Job in Chicago
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago brings together
government institutions, community-based organizations and companies
to offer over 31,000 employment and internship opportunities
to youth and young adults ages 14 to 24.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago?
A: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago (OSC) is an initiative that provides youth with employment and enrichment opportunities during the summer months. OSC offers summer employment to youth between the ages of 14 and 24, as well as a range of enrichment activities for children and youth of all ages, including camps, sports, arts, and recreation programs. Most programs are between 20 and 25 hours per week.
Q: What kinds of jobs are available?
A: This year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago will offer a wide range of opportunities through our partner agencies and organizations, including After School Matters, the Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, the Chicago Public Libraries, and more. Depending on the opportunity, jobs could range from working outdoors to involvement in arts and academic enrichment programs.
Q: What are the requirements to apply for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago?
A: Each partner organization will have its own employment requirements, but here are the most basic requirements:
- Be a City of Chicago resident
- Be between 14 and 24 years of age
- Have permission to participate from a parent or guardian if you’re under the age of 18
- Complete Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago online application
Q: When will the Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago application be available?
A: The application will be available late March 2018. The last day to apply is May 15, 2018.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Complete Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago application at www.onesummerchicago.org and any supplemental applications for the program options you select. Only online applications will be accepted. If you are under the age of 18 and you are offered a position, your parent or guardian will have to sign a consent form for you to participate in the employment program. If you are contacted for a position, you will receive information on how to complete the consent form at that time. Youth under the age of 16 will be required to have a work permit (see below for additional information).
Q: What are the start and end dates of my Summer Job?
A: Most programs will begin on July 2, 2018 and end on August 10, 2018. These dates may be subject to change depending on the partner organization.
Q: Can I save my application and complete it later?
A: Yes. The application will save your information. Remember your login information if you have to stop before you submit your application as you will need that information to log back into the system. The application will take up to 20 minutes to complete and submit.
Q: Can I make changes to my application after I submit it?
A: Yes. In order to make any changes, you will need to log back into your application at www.onesummerchicago.org. You will need to remember your login and password to update your application. Make sure to carefully review your application and apply for all the job opportunities you are interested in before you submit the form.
Q: What organizations are offering employment opportunities through Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago?
A: After School Matters, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Libraries, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. Additionaly, the Chicago Public Libraries are offering unpaid opportunities for youth.
Q: How will I know if I’ve been selected for a job opportunity?
A: Each One Summer Chicago partner agency will contact applicants directly either by phone, email, or mail for an interview or to fill a position. Be sure to include a current phone number, alternate phone number, and an accurate, work-appropriate email address (an email address that you would want your potential employer to use) on your One Summer Chicago application to ensure that agencies are able to reach you. Applicants will be contacted at the end of May or early June for a position.
There are always more applicants than positions for youth in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago. We encourage you to keep looking and applying for other opportunities while you wait to hear about your One Summer Chicago application.
Q: What happens when a young person’s top choice for a summer job is an offer away/outside of his/her community and the family is concerned about the young person’s safety?
A: Our network of One Summer Chicago provider agencies works to match participants with summer jobs based on their interests, their skills, and the community area/neighborhood where they live. In some cases, the best available opportunity for youth might require a longer commute than is originally expected.
It is the mission of the One Summer Chicago provider agencies to provide youth with a rewarding and safe summer experience, but each youth participant brings with them a unique set of circumstances. Program coordinators will work with youth and their parents and guardians on a case-by-case basis to resolve concerns, provide guidance and support with logistical issues, and help youth establish themselves in their summer job. If need be, the program coordinators will work with youth to find an alternative job placement.
Q: Can I have more than one summer job?
A: There are more applicants than positions for youth in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago. Youth are only allowed to accept one employment position through Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago to ensure that as many youth as possible have the opportunity to participate. Youth may accept additional employment outside of the program. If a youth has more than one job, he/she will need work with their employers to make sure they can meet all job expectations.
Q: I have applied and been approved to work through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Am I eligible to participate in One Summer Chicago?
A: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago welcomes all youth to apply for summer opportunities, including undocumented students (also known as DREAMers). Students who have been approved for deferred action must have a Social Security Number to be eligible for City-funded employment positions.
DREAMers without deferred action status are still encouraged to apply, as there are opportunities to participate in volunteer and other internship opportunities.
Q: How are applicants selected?
A: The application selection process depends on the partner agencies and specific programs. Some job opportunities require interviews and others have additional qualifications for participation. Some programs will select through random lottery, while others are restricted to youth fitting certain criteria.
Q: What can I do if I am not selected?
A: Applying to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago does not guarantee you will be selected. Please do not be discouraged if you do not secure an opportunity through Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago this summer. There are over 200,000 opportunities to learn, play, and stay engaged this summer.
For learning and enrichment program opportunities, please click the “RESOURCES” button on the www.onesummerchicago.org page.
Q: What are the opportunities for 14-15 year olds to apply for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago?
A: The majority of the summer employment positions are for youth ages 16-24. However, the Chicago Housing Authority has a limited number of employment positions for youth ages 14-15. To be eligible for those positions, youth must apply through the online www.onesummerchicago.org application and be either a CHA public housing resident or housing choice voucher tenant. In addition, After School Matters also offers a limited number of slots for 14-15 year olds. To be eligible for an apprenticeship with After School Matters, you must be at least 14 years old on the first day of the program (June 30, 2018). For After School Matters internships, you must be at least 16 years old at the start of the program. Chicago Public Libraries also offers volunteer opportunities for younger youth. Youth interested in those positions should contact their local library.
Q: How do I get a work permit?
A: Youth ages 16 and above do not need a work permit.
If you are under the age of 16, please contact the career counselor at your school, or:
Illinois State Board of Education
100 W. Randolph, 14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
(Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Please call for an appointment)
Obtaining a Work Permit involves several steps, including:
- Complete a required written application
- A parent / guardian must be present when the application is completed and filed
- The student (minor / child) must be present when a Work Permit is issued. A parent / guardian MAY NOT obtain a Work Permit without the student (child) recipient present, as the application requires verified signature.
The following items are needed for verification before a Work Permit can be issued:
- Letter of Intent to Hire (download here)
- Verification of Age (e.g., birth certificate, baptismal certificate)
- Social Security Card
- Report of a Physical Examination from the past year
- Written parent approval signed by the parent / guardian
- Completion of a form by the child’s school principal verifying that the student is making satisfactory academic progress, if the student is seeking part-time employment during the school year.