City and community partners coordinate series of local events, job fair for teens

Local students will have multiple options to safely gather and even seek temporary employment during Hamilton County Schools’ winter break, thanks to a series of community events planned by the City and its partners. Similar to the programming offered during fall and Thanksgiving breaks, the winter break events are free and open to students as part of ongoing efforts to empower young people and prevent youth violence.

In addition to five family-friendly events and two teen-only events ranging from a drive-in movie to a karaoke night, the lineup also includes a job fair hosted in partnership with the American Job Center and 9 local businesses who are offering employment opportunities for local teens ages 14 and up.  

Open positions include temporary roles starting as soon as Dec. 20 and lasting through winter break, along with longer-term opportunities for teens aged 16 years and older who are interested in working throughout the school year. Participating businesses include Burger King, the Chattanooga Downtown Alliance, Just Wright Lawn Care, McDonald’s, Peach Cobbler Factory, Qualified Staffing, Sonic, and TNT Cleaning.  

“It’s been a joy to engage and empower Chattanooga’s young people during the last two holiday breaks, as we continue to work closely with our partners to help youth turn away from violence and toward a successful future,” said Chris Sands, Interim Executive Director of Community Safety and Gun Violence Prevention for the Chattanooga Office of Community Health. “I’m particularly excited about this Winter Break lineup, which includes a job fair for teens interested in working when they’re not in school—something we organized in direct response to what we heard from the students themselves, which was that they wanted opportunities to earn and save money, along with options to safely hang out over the break.” 

The Chattanooga Public Library is also offering youth programming for teens and tweens from 2 – 6 pm throughout the break, with an option for parents and guardians to drop off students ages 10 and older. And for programming close to home, the City’s 18 Community Centers will remain open to youth and families from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday, excluding City holidays. 

A full schedule of events is available at //

The City of Chattanooga acknowledges and thanks the many City departments and community partners who came together to coordinate the diverse lineup, including: the Department of Community Development, the Department of Early Learning, Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors, the Chattanooga Police Department, the Chattanooga Public Library, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the American Job Center, the Chattanooga Downtown Alliance, Excellence over Excuses, LightHouse Collective, Mason’s Order of the Eastern Star, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., River City Company, and the Tau Xi Chapter of Sigma Beta Xi, Inc. 

Empowering Youth to Build a Safer Chattanooga

According to the Chattanooga Police Department, upticks in youth-related violence often occur when school is out, including during holiday breaks. To help prevent violence during these time periods, the Kelly administration has engaged community partners in an effort to empower young people through mentorship and youth programming city-wide, with a focus on school breaks. 

During Hamilton County Schools’ Fall Break, the City and its partners together hosted a series of 7 events for youth, which contributed to the lowest number of juvenile-associated cases involving firearm assaults or seizures reported during Fall Break for the last 4 years. 

As part of the One Chattanooga Relief and Recovery Plan, the city is also investing $3.7 million in federal funds into nine public safety initiatives that will empower young people and help build a safer future for the community.