Nation's Largest Corporate-Based Summer Jobs Program Pivots in Light of COVID-19 to Provide Boston Youth with Job Readiness Opportunities
BOSTON, July 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - John Hancock today announced that its 13th annual MLK Scholars Program, which provides employment and job readiness opportunities for Boston's youth, will be implemented virtually this summer due to COVID-19. With youth unemployment rates at a record high of 31%, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, John Hancock is continuing its commitment to expand economic opportunity for local teens, support community based organizations, and help foster a more diverse talent pipeline for Boston. The program officially begins today, July 6.
Believed to be the largest, most comprehensive corporate summer jobs program of its kind in the country, the MLK Scholars Program is a unique cross-sector collaboration John Hancock leads in partnership with The Boston Globe, Boston University, Mass General Brigham, and the City of Boston. This year, the $1.2 million initiative will provide over 600 Boston youth summer job assignments, leadership development forums, and digital financial literacy training.
John Hancock works closely with non-profit partners and an MLK Scholars Youth Council, a group of students nominated to take on leadership roles, to ensure the scholars are engaged in meaningful, productive ways. The leadership forums, which are traditionally hosted at Boston University, will now be virtual and cover topics such as networking, civic engagement, financial resilience and equity and inclusion.
"Our young people need this connection to summer programming and employment now more than ever, and I'm grateful to the many partners who have stepped up in new and creative ways to meet this year's unique challenges," Mayor Martin J. Walsh said. "While the MLK Scholars program may look different this year, our commitment to providing these opportunities is stronger than ever. This program is about providing the skills and access to opportunity our young people need as they embark on their future."
"While we're all facing a new normal this year, we are steadfast in our commitment to our MLK Scholars and are adjusting the program to ensure that we continue to support Boston's young people," said Marianne Harrison, John Hancock president and CEO. "Expanding economic opportunity for young people is critical to fostering a healthier, more equitable community and to building a more inclusive Boston. We're thankful to all of our partners for their creativity and flexibility as we continue to work together through a new normal this year."
The scholars will be employed remotely for approximately 20-30 hours a week across over 50 local non-profits. As part of the program, John Hancock will also hire 35 Boston students as summer interns at the company, in addition to four college interns who were former MLK Scholars. Additionally, John Hancock is offering expanded access to EVERFI, a leading education technology company for digital learning, allowing all Boston students from other summer jobs programs to participate in the virtual curriculum along with the MLK Scholars.
About John Hancock and Manulife John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asia and Europe. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD$1.2 trillion (US$0.8 trillion) as of March 31, 2020. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.