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The doors to Evanston Township High School’s Beardsley Gymnasium opened at 8 a.m. As the line of teenagers became longer, each applicant received a number, and by 10 a.m., 435 applicants had received one, said Seventh Ward Alderman Jane Grover, one of several elected officials and other volunteers who answered questions from the youth and their parents.

Inside the gym, representatives of 62 local employers – both for-profit and not-for-profit – waited to interview the applicants.

The job fair for the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program held on April 19 drew almost 500 youth looking for summer jobs.

“Each [applicant] gets three job interviews,” said Mr. McRae. Some had already registered online for their interviews; the others were directed to a room where they could peruse the list of potential jobs and select their interviews. Beth Arey of ETHS’s college and career center was on hand to offer “last-minute tips” to the applicants, Mr. McRae said.

The Mayor’s goal for this year’s Summer Employment Fair was to find jobs for 500 youth, said Kevin Brown, youth and young adult program manager for the City. “We’ll meet the Mayor’s goal,” he said. He said the partnerships between the City and not-for-profits, for-profit businesses, ETHS and Northwestern University have been “amazing.”

This year – the 22nd for the Summer Youth Employment Program – the job fair was held at ETHS rather than the Civic Center. “This is a better space; there is more room for interviews,” said Mr. McRae.

“We’re very happy with the high school’s cooperation,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “The youth department is doing a wonderful job, and employers in town are cooperating. My dream is that the number of jobs and the number of kids wanting jobs will even out.

“These are great kids. When you interview them you realize what fabulous kids they are,” Mayor Tisdahl said.