The Governor's Summer Youth Works Project targets students between the ages of 16 and 22 from Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and other communities.
The governor's office announced the $1.9 million program Monday to benefit 200 college-aged students and 900 high schoolers.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich says the jobs will teach students how to work, will earn them money and will help their neighborhoods.
In Chicago's Englewood community, for example, 190 students will work to paint murals, build park benches and make other improvements.