DALLAS — Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wants to make it easier for high schoolers to get summer jobs. 

He announced on Monday a new youth employment program, Dallas Works, to make the process simpler.

While the new program doesn't guarantee a job or internship, it provides a place where students needing jobs and businesses needing summer employees to meet.

Any high school student who lives in Dallas can apply for the program. If accepted, Dallas Works will help facilitate the job process. 

Johnson says Dallas Works is an expansion of the former mayor’s Intern Fellows Program. While the old setup employed 370 students at more than 200 corporations in 2019, Johnson hopes to at least double that number in the first year.

“Dallas Works will give our kids an opportunity to learn professional skills, to stay busy during the summer, to make some money, to learn the value of honest work, to contribute to their communities and to stay out of trouble,” Johnson said in a written statement.

Since the city started taking applications less than two weeks ago, nearly 1,500 students and 75 companies have signed up to be a part of the program. The mayor says he expects Dallas employers to step up and help employ these teenagers.

“We’ve got 1,500 kids and counting who want to work this summer,” Johnson said. “They’re willing to make the effort, and I hope our private sector is willing to make the effort, too. This is about more than what Dallas will look like this summer; this is about the kind of city we want to build for the future.”

Applicants will get paid between $7.25 and $10 per hour. The first application deadline is Feb. 15. 

Each employer is asked to provide an eight-week summer job or internship for each student. The majority of Dallas Works employment will begin on June 1 and end on July 31. If accepted, Dallas Works asks that students only work one job through the program. 

The mayor’s office will oversee the project. Education is Freedom will handle student recruitment and administration. The Dallas Regional Chamber and the Dallas Citizens Council will recruit employers.

For more information, go to dallassummerjobs.org.

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