LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mayor Greg Fischer announced plans Monday for the 2018 SummerWorks program, which is designed to connect Louisville youth with summer jobs launches.

More than 5,000 students were placed into jobs with more than 160 local companies last summer, and this year, those numbers are expected to grow.  More than 2,000 students have already signed up for the program, now in its eighth year of helping kids between the ages of 16 and 21.

Many employers are participating for the first time, including Hillard Lyons, the Louisville Bats and Spectrum. Companies such as Kentucky Kingdom and Thorntons are increasing the number of young people they hire.

JCPS is more involved this year than any other year. The Academies of Louisville program creates a recruitment pipeline for companies and helps businesses target interested students.

"Now that Doss is a manufacturing high school as part of what it offers, there are a lot of kids at Doss that are now signing up for SummerWorks and asking for help getting jobs in manufacturing for the summer," said KentuckianaWorks Executive Director Michael Gritton.

An employment expo is scheduled from 12-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at the Louisville Central Community Center at 1300 West Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Representatives from companies such as Humana, Kroger, UPS and GE Appliances are scheduled to be in attendance.

More than 16,000 young people have found work through the program since it began back in 2011, but just because they sign up for the program doesn't mean they'll land a job. 

Students go through an interview process just like they would for a real job.

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