Austin and two other Chicago neighborhoods struggling with unemployment and violence will receive $4 million for youth job-training programs from the Cook County government.
The money targets at-risk, 16- to 24-year-olds. Cook County lawmakers announced an initial $1 million for Austin and Back of the Yards last October. An additional $3 million was recently committed to both neighborhoods and newly added South Shore, said Commissioner Richard Boykin, whose district includes Austin.
The unemployment rate in predominantly African-American Austin is 21 percent, significantly higher than the citywide rate of 11 percent and that state of 5.4 percent. All three numbers are among the worst unemployment figures in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.