New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today announced that applications are open for the 2017 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) from Monday, February 6 through Friday, March 17, 2017 for youth from Harlem to Hollis.
The application process was launched earlier this year to give New Yorkers additional time to plan for summer. Participants are selected by lottery for the program, which runs from July 5 through August 19, 2017.
“Every year we give more and more students the chance at an internship that could change the trajectory of their careers. Last year tens of thousands of young New Yorkers kick started their futures at more than 10,000 job sites across the City, further cementing the Summer Youth Employment Program as the biggest and best summer youth workforce initiative in the nation. This year, we’ll connect even more youth from across the five boroughs to meaningful opportunity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“In the summer of 1973, I worked with the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council cleaning up an empty lot. That summer I earned $320, but more importantly, the job exposed me to the world of public service and taught me work ethic. I look back now as the commissioner of the agency that oversees this program, and realize that SYEP positively affected the career choices I have made. Through SYEP, younger youths learn the importance of showing up on time and working with other people. For older teens and young adults, it’s about lining up the work experience and careers in which they are interested,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.
SYEP is the nation’s largest summer youth employment initiative, and since 1963 has provided New York City young people between the ages of 14 and 24 with up to six weeks of entry-level experience at worksites in all five boroughs. Last summer, a record 60,113 participants were employed at more than 10,000 worksites. With the support of the Center for Youth Employment, the City more than doubled the number of Ladders for Leaders internships (1,538) and opportunities for young people who are homeless, court-involved or in foster care (3,050).
SYEP participants are compensated for their work at diverse worksites that include government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises and retail. Specialized programming for disabled, foster care, runaway/homeless and court-involved young people are also available. SYEP offers workshops on job readiness, career exploration and financial literacy, and opportunities to continue education and social growth. Ladders for Leaders is an employer-paid internship component of SYEP for youth aged 16-22.
Studies show that SYEP improves school attendance, offers new skills, reduces incarceration rates and keeps teens and young adults safe—including youth who wouldn’t otherwise have access to paying jobs.
As part of a national effort to encourage young people to save and make healthy financial choices, SYEP participants have the option to receive their wages via direct deposit to a bank account of their choice. Youth who signed up for direct deposit and/or opened savings accounts are eligible to receive over 2,000 rewards deposited to their accounts ranging from $25-$500. Last summer, more than 16,000 young people signed up for direct deposit accounts, a 200 percent increase since 2014. The multi-year initiative is funded by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) and the Citi Foundation.
In 2015, Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City launched the NYC Center for Youth Employment, a public-private initiative charged with helping to expand the City’s employment services for young New Yorkers, including SYEP. The Center for Youth Employment’s specific goal is to support 100,000 unique work-related experiences each year, including high-quality summer jobs, career exposure, skills-building, and supportive mentorships, by 2020. In collaboration with City agencies, employers and other stakeholders, the Center for Youth Employment is focused on increasing private sector involvement in these programs as well as evaluating the City’s youth workforce system as a whole, with an eye toward expanding effective programs and filling in gaps.
Applications can be completed online or at a participating community-based organization during the application period. Online applications are available at the DYCD website (www.nyc.gov/dycd). Updates will also be posted to DYCD’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites. For more information, call 311 or DYCD Youth Connect (1-800-246-4646).
Employers and worksites looking to support New York City’s youth employment programs, including SYEP, should go to the Center for Youth Employment’s website (www.nyc.gov/cye). Interested employers can also email the Mayor’s Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.