The Memphis Office of Youth Services (MOYS) serves the educational and developmental needs of students in the Memphis area. The mission of MOYS is to equip students with the tools necessary for becoming contributors to the greater community by inspiring them to make positive decisions in the classroom and beyond through engaging and interactive programs including the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP), the Classic College Fair and the MPLOY Youth Summer Experience.
This year, the Memphis Ambassadors Program (MAP) celebrated ten years andadded a new special needs initiative called “I AM Included” for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing and Blind & Visually Impaired.
MAP Partnered with Compass Intervention Center and Project Stand to assist students with behavioral issues or who have gone through the juvenile court system. Also, an 8th Grade Apprentice Program was created to help students struggling academically.
Since 2016, MPLOY Youth Summer Experience has expanded from 1,000 to 1900 participants that are placed in summer jobs. MPLOY also implemented programs such as “Youth Excellence Awards” Ceremony, “Youth About Change Teen Summit” and the “Emerging Film Festival”to give extracurricular activities for their participants.
Other notable programs include:
- MOYS Institute for 14-15-year-olds in to prepare them for summer employment and provides professional, career, financial literacy, social, business development.
- “Back on Track” Program, which equips students from Hope Academy/Juvenile Detention Center with the tools necessary for becoming contributors to the greater community by inspiring them to make positive decisions in the classroom and beyond.
- Memphis Youth City Council trains young people to become leaders not only in their school but also in City Government representing all seven City Council Districts.
- “Boxing at the Pipkin” to expose youth to positive activities and boxing classes.
- Annual Southern Heritage Classic College and Career Fair exposes over 3,000 high school seniors in the city to colleges and companies.
- “Bringing It To the Bluff,” – youth dance showcase during the Southern Heritage Classic.
- “Memphis Youth Got Talent” – Annual citywide youth talent competition.
- “Youth Empowerment Conference” – Annual conference to empower youth through various workshops facilitated by local community partners.
- Youth Forums – “Hear Me Out and “We Heard You” – Youth can express concerns about crime, workforce, education, and other youth-related issues to community leaders in a panel forum format.
- “A Conversation with Microsoft” – Leaders from Microsoft came to Memphis to discuss their opportunities with high school and college students.
The City of Memphis has an important role to play in building a deeper pool of qualified workers and fueling economic growth. Our city’s growth relies in large part on maintaining and growing an employable workforce that meets the needs of current and future employers as well as address the issue of poverty. A critical pathway out of poverty begins with the ability to obtain skills that lead to gainful employment and placement on a career path. The City of Memphis offers several programs and initiatives to help residents obtain the skills and information they need to obtain employment.
In 2016, Mayor Jim Strickland and the City of Memphis Administration decided men in the Greater Memphis Area deserved a program that helps build character, improve communication, and strengthen leadership skills for men. In pursuit of that objective, Manhood University was created, formed, and implemented by The Office of Community Affairs and the faith-based community partners. Participating churches facilitate this course.
Women Offering Women Support (WOWS)
Women Offering Women Support (WOWS) is a six-week program delivered by community partners in a workshop setting. Guided by the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum, The Nurturing Parenting Program is research-based to prevent recidivism in families receiving social services and to reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency by teaching positive parenting behaviors.
Beyond our duties to improve core city services such as infrastructure and public safety, our job in city government is to connect citizens, particularly our young people, to these opportunities. Opportunity Memphis provides a place for Memphians to learn more about job training programs, nonviolent criminal record expungement, assistance in receiving a high school equivalency diploma, and many other services that residents can take advantage of in our city for FREE! Visit opportunitymemphis.com
JobLINC has served the Memphis area since 1990. JobLINC helps job seekers locate employment opportunities. It also helps employers find workers. A service of the Memphis Public Libraries it is designed to help Memphis area residents find jobs by providing:
- listings of available jobs
- aid in locating training opportunities
- one-on-one assistance in conducting job searches and preparing for interviews
- job readiness workshops
Jobs in July
Presented by FedEx and the City of Memphis, 2019 Jobs in July Career Fair was held at Pipkin Building at Tiger Lane. Hosting partners included the Memphis Public Libraries’ JobLINC Career Center, American Job Center – Greater Memphis Region and SHRM Memphis. More than 70 employers were onsite, and participants had the opportunity to get their resumes reviewed, participate in a mock interview, take headshots for Linkedin, pick up a tie or jacket and receive a haircut.
Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
The amount of city contract spending Minority and Women-owned Businesses (MWBEs) received was 12.6 percent when Mayor Strickland took office. As of June 30, 2019, contract spending to MWBEs increased to 21.87 percent— a 72 percent increase. There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of certified minority and women-owned businesses, from 138 to 605. Because of this work, Memphis was ranked #1 city nationwide for women-owned business growth in an American Express study.
The Office of Business Diversity and Compliance has developed several programs to invest in and strengthen minority contractors. The Sub-to-Prime program connects sub-contractors with opportunities to become prime contractors. “I’m Certified… What’s Next?” Workshop Series features small minority businesses that provide guidance in different areas of contracting, including purchasing, putting together a bid packet, and business tax assistance. Propel is a partnership with Start Co. that connects small businesses with mentoring and technical assistance to help build capacity.
Small, minority, and women-owned businesses now have a hub in the iconic Universal Life Insurance Co. building – the Entrepreneurs Network Center. Companies can access information on opportunities to do business in the public and private sectors and have more resources to support their businesses.
Housing and Community Development
Over the past year, the City of Memphis Division of Housing & Community Development (HCD) has delivered several programs and initiatives to support the needs of individuals and families throughout the City. HCD awarded over $900,000 to 11 agencies in the inaugural year of the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund. These funds are used to provide home repairs and rehabilitate housing units in neighborhoods throughout the City. Also, HCD has continued to work with nonprofit housing agencies, such as Frayser CDC and The Works Inc., on single-family and multifamily housing development projects through federal HOME funds. Through the Down Payment Assistance Programs, HCD provided over $898,000 to assist 100 buyers with down payments to purchase homes within the City. The Weatherization Program commenced work on multifamily units at Montgomery Plaza this year, and HCD received $5.6 million from HUD for a new lead remediation program.
In September 2019, HCD initiated a new pilot program called the Community Coalition Program, in which agencies in Orange Mound and Binghampton are collaborating on neighborhood improvement initiatives in alignment with Memphis 3.0. Over 12 participating agencies were awarded up to $7,500 for their respective programs, and the groups meet on a monthly basis to align programs for the benefit of the community. In October 2019, HCD delivered the City first State of Memphis Housing Summit, a full-day event with over 250 participants learned data and statistics regarding Memphis housing issues with local and national housing experts. This conference will become an annual event for the Division.
HCD has continued to coordinate major development projects such as Raleigh Springs Town Center (opening Fall 2020); Cossitt Library Renovation (opening 2021); South City Redevelopment Project (Phase 1 and 2 completed); Fairgrounds (projected completion in 2022); Tillman Cove (2022); and Historic Melrose (2022). In addition, HCD has continued to coordinate with many partners on various homeless initiatives, including housing over 250 individuals in hotels during the first two months of the COVID19 crisis (April and May 2020).
Memphis Public Libraries (MPL) serve over 2 million people each year and is a trusted institution that strives to increase access to underserved populations. MPL offers an environment of diversity and inclusion that reaches and engages all residents in Memphis. The Library presents thousands of programs focused on workforce development, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), and grade-level reading, especially through the summer with Explore Memphis. Program attendance has increased tremendously by continuing to expand services that build skills.
The Library ensures that all Memphians have access to technology to build 21st-century skills and advance in lifelong learning. Cloud901 Teen Learning Lab helps teens develop advanced skills through hands-on experience with a video production lab, sound mixing station, art studio, maker space, performance area, and hundreds of specialized programs and camps. And due to COVID-19, many of the Library’s popular youth programming opportunities were made available virtually on the Library website. An expansion of the e-book collection led to a large increase in online library card registration.
The Division of Parks and Neighborhoods has provided essential quality of life services for Memphians. In 2019, as part of Play Your Park special events were piloted, including Movies in the Park at 18 locations, and outdoor Yoga and Tai Chi. Our annual celebration at the end of Summer Camp, Ultimate Multicultural Game Day, gathered youth from all 24 community centers and the Skinner Center to recreate together. Parks also provides an outlet for our youth the express themselves with our annual Parks Got Stars Talent Competition and Black History Oratorical Competition.
Our city parks have continued to provide respite from the busy urban environment and zero cost physical activity. To maintain access to our crucial outdoor resources during the Covid-19 pandemic, Parks mobilized a Parks Courtesy Crew to ensure the safety of park users. In March 2020, Parks released our first virtual that have been accessed by more than 84,000 users. Parks also prepared a “Summer Survival Box” program to keep youth engaged, learning, and active during the summer months of 2020.
The Parks Division has also expanded partnerships with both SCS and the YMCA to guarantee food access for Memphis youth during the pandemic. The YMCA has also partnered with us to provide childcare for essential workers at our community centers for summer 2020.
Currently, Parks is engaging the community to create its master plan. Three town hall forums, twenty-five interactive sessions for adults in all city council districts, and nine “design your park” sessions with youth have been held to receive input on the future of Parks amenities.