City hosts lottery drawing for MPLOY youth jobs program

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mayor A C Wharton and Council member Wanda Halbert clicked a mouse Wednesday to launch the lottery drawing of applicants for "MPLOY," the city's youth summer jobs program.

"Once they press that, it will begin the lottery for all seven city council districts," said James Nelson with the Office of Youth Services.

The computer randomly selected 1,000 out of more than 8,000 applicants for the program.

WREG was told the applicants ranged in age from 14 to 21, and they came from a pool of applicants in their respective city council districts.

The MPLOY lottery drawing came as good news in a week packed with bad news.

Two girls, aged seven and fifteen, were shot and killed and a violent teen mob overtook a gas station parking lot.

Halbert said she is celebrating the MPLOY summer jobs program, especially considering it includes at-risk youth, who could be out causing more trouble.

"Those very kids who could be lost through the system, we're pulling them into this program to make sure somebody shows them that there's an opportunity for you to change your life around and do great things," Halbert said.

There will be 143 MPLOY positions per district.
1) 100 college interns
2) 100 non-traditional students
3) 550 high school students
4) 250 middle school students

More than 50 businesses signed on, but it was not enough jobs for the program.

"I'm making a plea to other businesses. Maybe you can't take five, but can you take two? Can you take three?" Mayor Wharton asked.

The city said they will email applicants to let them know when the lottery results are posted on the city's website.

The selected participants will get a call and/or email from the city by April 20 to set up an interview.

They are not guaranteed acceptance into the program yet.

All participants must attend a Youth Symposium.

The city will pay the participants for their work.