Celebrating two years of progress, the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), a public-private partnership between the de Blasio administration and local private sector leaders, tripled the number of summer jobs for New York City’s most vulnerable youth—New Yorkers ages 14 to 24 who are or have been involved in the shelter, justice or foster care systems.
Further, the administration has built and strengthened an inter-agency ecosystem of policies and programs to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth, who make up a large share of the City’s vulnerable youth population. Through a $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation, CYE in concert with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), other agencies, and community-based partner the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) assessed how New York City could increase LGBTQ youth employment and support them once employed. This research will inform a first-of-its-kind comprehensive LGBTQ Youth Employment Best Practices Manual.
“We are extremely proud of this program, and look forward to its continued success. Creating opportunities for our most vulnerable children facilitates personal growth for them, and economic growth for the City. We all benefit from the accomplishments made possible by the Center for Youth Employment,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio
“Since its inception, the Center for Youth Employment has delivered on its promise to support NYC’s most vulnerable youth,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “LGBTQ youth, in particular, are often plagued with obstacles that include homelessness, stressful academic environments and abandonment. LGBTQ youth have more support when City agency partners and local private sector leaders work collaboratively and there is better access to jobs and stable employment. Precious lives are saved and nurtured.”
“We are committed to building a strong safety net to support our young people and giving them the tools to launch successful careers. These programs reflect the innovative and dynamic ways the public and private sectors can work together to ensure we are creating access and opportunity for all New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable communities,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Fund.
CYE was created in 2015 with a focus on building support systems for vulnerable youth, who are at higher risk of negative economic outcomes, including low educational attainment, unemployment, low earnings, incarceration and homelessness, and ultimately providing them with universal access to summer jobs. Since the establishment of CYE, the number of vulnerable youth enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) grew from 1,000 in 2014 to 3,000 in 2016. This growth was fueled by increased public and private investments, including support from Astoria Energy II, LLC. Updated figures for 2017 will be released in July and are expected to continue this upward trend.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth comprise a large share of the vulnerable youth population. Over the past few years, Mayor de Blasio’s administration has intensified efforts to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth. For instance, in 2015, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in partnership with CYE, received a $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to understand common challenges and unmet needs for LGBTQ youth in NYC’s workforce. Working in collaboration with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), other agencies, and community-based partner the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), CYE assessed how New York City could increase LGBTQ youth employment and robustly support them once employed.
Using this research, CYE provided recommendations to the Children’s Cabinet, DYCD, the Human Resources Administration and HMI to produce a first-of-its-kind comprehensive LGBTQ Youth Employment Best Practices Manual. This manual will ensure all City youth workforce programs are affirming and accommodating of LGBTQ youth. Further, CYE and its partners will develop an outreach strategy to increase recruitment of LGBTQ applicants for SYEP; make recommendations for supports to ensure a quality experience for participants via the vulnerable youth working group; and eventually track the number of LGBTQ applicants and participants in SYEP by modifying the application process to capture additional, voluntarily provided information about applicants.
In addition, this summer, CYE in partnership with the Young Men’s Initiative and DYCD, will launch a pilot program to support a targeted group of 50 vulnerable youth in Queens who are not yet work-ready. Participants will develop critical thinking and communications skills through work-based learning activities designed and supervised by The LAMP, a nonprofit focusing on digital literacy and media awareness.
“HMI is so thrilled and grateful to be part of this important and timely work with the Mayor’s office. It is encouraging and heartening to witness and aid government institutions in better recognizing and serving the needs of our City’s most marginalized and vulnerable, LGBTQ youth. Giving the next generation more chances to succeed means a brighter future for all of us,” said Thomas Krever, CEO, Hetrick Martin Institute.
“Addressing the needs of our most vulnerable young people, especially in the context of their job market prospects, is critical for the City’s economic future. Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders and other City-funded programs, teens and young adults have been exposed to everything from crime scene forensics to computer coding to advertising,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “DYCD continues to work with the Center for Youth Employment to ensure all young New Yorkers have equal access to internships, jobs, and career training opportunities that are crucial to their success.”
“When we launched CYE two years ago, we knew we set out some ambitious, and important goals, focused on dramatically improving outcomes for young New Yorkers – and for the city’s employers seeking local, work-ready talent,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund. “The work is far from over, but we’re thrilled with the milestones reached in such a short period of time, and we are grateful for the public and private partners that have already come together around this shared goal of supporting youth workforce pipelines, and particularly young and vulnerable New Yorkers who most benefit from the increased attention and support.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to support such a worthy cause. The provision of guidance, support, and high-quality work experiences to needy youth throughout the City is bound to have a lasting and positive effect on the individuals involved and the City at large. Hats off to the Mayor, First Lady, and Center for Youth Employment for their leadership and results, and I wish much success to the hard-working individuals enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Charles R. McCall, CEO, Astoria Energy LLC & Astoria Energy II LLC.
“A core idea behind the Center for Youth Employment was that as a city, we have a particular obligation to serve and support those young people who have faced the greatest challenges early in life. By engaging our partners in city government, philanthropy, and the provider community to develop high-impact programs, we can offer the promise of better lives for young New Yorkers who most need assistance,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Employment.
“The NYC Children’s Cabinet coordinates across 24 city agencies and offices to advance the safety, well-being and healthy development of every young New Yorker. As part of that mission, we are excited to work with CYE, DYCD, HRA and other partners in and out of government to improve the experiences of LGBTQ youth in City workforce programs,” said Benita Miller, Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet.
“The Young Men’s Initiative views the work of the Center for Youth Employment (CYE) as critical to ensuring all youth have equitable access to life-sustaining employment opportunities. It is imperative for the future success of New York City that it creates intentional plans and makes strategic investments aimed at better integrating every community’s youth into the prosperity this great city has to offer. We applaud CYE for the work it has undertaken to date and look forward to developing an even closer partnership moving forward,” said W. Cyrus Garrett, Executive Director of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative.
“The LAMP is pleased to partner with the Center for Youth Employment through its Digital Career Path program providing 21st-century digital literacy and workforce development training. Programs like ours prepare vulnerable youth for economic success from an early age by helping them learn to harness technology as a tool for personal and professional fulfillment. We applaud Mayor de Blasio and CYE for their past success, and look forward to a future where all youth have the opportunity to live, learn and thrive in our technology-rich city,” said D.C. Vito, Executive Director, The LAMP.
The Center for Youth Employment (CYE), was launched in May 2015 by Mayor de Blasio to expand, improve and coordinate publicly funded programs that help prepare New York City’s young adults for steady work and career success. A public-private initiative, the Center was conceived and launched by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in collaboration with City agencies and private partners.