You can't say the recession’s over, by the job numbers of young minorities. The employment rate in Chicago for black males age 16-19 is 8 percent. For Illinois, it’s 12 percent. Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp says both government and private employers should put a priority on this.

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“It does not take a lot of money to fund a summer job for a young person. It's about $1,000. It makes a huge difference,” Zopp says. “I know every dollar counts, particularly for small businesspeople. It’s an investment that's well worth the time.”

 Zopp says in the black community, jobs are in short supply, as are opportunities for networking and mentoring.

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