Mayor Andre Dickens Launches Summer Youth Employment Program with Signing Day

Staff Report

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Mayor Andre Dickens officially launched the City of Atlanta’s Summer Youth Employment Program with “Signing Day.” During the State of the City address earlier this year, Mayor Dickens challenged Atlanta’s public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit community to employ 3,000 of Atlanta’s youth this summer.

“Signing Day,” often associated with athletes signing their commitment to a team or organization, was used to represent the city, youth and employers’ commitment to meeting the challenge of employing 3,000 Atlanta youth this summer.

“Our Administration is committed to getting 3,000 of Atlanta’s youth employed this summer, and we are taking the first step toward this goal by already identifying more than 300 positions within the government’s purview - including positions with the Department of Parks & Recreation and Department of Watershed Management,” said Mayor Dickens. “The companies here today represent more than 600 of the job opportunities available to youth who have registered for our Job Board. This is only the beginning. We need more employers to join the challenge and employ 3,000 of Atlanta’s youth now and throughout the summer.”

Those present at “Signing Day” included representatives from:

City of Atlanta - Mayor Andre Dickens, Chief of Staff Odie Donald II
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport - General Manager, Balram “B” Bheodari
Department of Parks & Recreation – Commissioner, John Dargle Jr.
Department of Watershed Management – Commissioner, Mikita Browning
Atlanta Public Schools – Superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring
The Georgia Aquarium - President and CEO Dr. Brian Davis
Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED - Atlanta Division Director, Victor Ragland
The Fox Theatre - President and CEO, Allan C. Vella
MARTA – Chief of Staff, Melissa Mullinax
NCR - North American VP for the Field Service Delivery, Chris Henthorn
Accenture – Atlanta Managing Director, Chloe Barzey
AT&T – Yvette Pugh, Director of External Affairs
IKEA – Ashton Atkinson, Loyalty Manager

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, General Manager, Balram Bheodari

“We couldn’t be more excited to take part in Mayor Dickens’ Summer Youth Employment initiative,” said Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) General Manager Balram Bheodari. “ATL has bolstered our own Summer Youth Program from 20 students to 100 students as part of our pledge to support the community and create a pipeline of future aviation leaders and professionals.”

The Georgia Aquarium, President and CEO Dr. Brian Davis

“We are committed to Mayor Dickens’ Summer Youth Employment Challenge. Georgia Aquarium has many opportunities to help Atlanta youth learn about careers in marine science, non-profit management, and hospitality through part-time employment options,” said Dr. Brian Davis, President and CEO of Georgia Aquarium. “It’s not only our obligation, but our purpose as a major Atlanta attraction and educational institution to provide the generation of tomorrow with the skills and experiences to help prepare them for their futures.”

The Fox Theatre, President and CEO, Allan C. Vella

“The Fox Theatre is excited to be supporting Mayor Dickens Summer Youth Employment Program. Employing our talented young people, is a great opportunity for us to learn from Atlanta’s best and brightest, while offering some practical real-life work experience, that may shape their future career aspirations.”

Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED, Atlanta Division Director, Victor Ragland

"As the hometown bottler for Coca-Cola, the Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED is proud to partner with the City of Atlanta on this initiative. We know the future of Atlanta is in its youth and we are honored to partner here."

Accenture, Atlanta Managing Director, Chloe Barzey

“Today’s students are our future leaders. Accenture is proud to join other Atlanta employers in supporting the mayor’s youth summer jobs initiative, to provide local high schoolers with invaluable real-world experience and help them build strong foundations for successful future careers.” 

IKEA Atlanta, Market Manager, Jennifer Preston

“IKEA Atlanta is proud to join the Summer Youth Employment initiative and partner with the City of Atlanta to offer meaningful work for young people in our community. At IKEA, our co-workers are at the heart of everything we do. We recently implemented a minimum of $16/hour starting wage, in addition to several enhanced benefits including a minimum of five weeks of paid time away from work for all co-workers, education assistance, and more inclusive health care benefits. We welcome people from diverse groups, because a great mix of minds, talents, and personalities not only makes us stronger, wiser, and better, it also reflects our customer base. This is another way of making the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, a reality.”


Employers and youth interested in the Summer Youth Employment Program should visit for additional information.