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Two Years Ahead of Schedule, Mayor de Blasio Announces City Reached Goal of Providing 100,000 Publicly Supported Youth Internships, Mentorships and Jobs Per Year

June 8, 2018

Goal set in 2015 upon launch of the Center for Youth Employment, a public-private partnership that works with employers and city agencies to grow job opportunities for young people

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor de Blasio announced that the City achieved its goal to provide over 100,000 summer jobs, internships and mentorships per year to youth ages 12-24, helping to put more young New Yorkers on a path to successfully enter and compete in the local workforce. Studies show that access to early and meaningful work-based learning and employment opportunities significantly improves future employment prospects and earning power.

“To live up to the promise of being the fairest city in America, we must ensure young people from all backgrounds have opportunities for career exploration. We made the unprecedented commitment to provide 100,000 internships, mentorships, and summer jobs per year by 2020 so that social status, neighborhood and family income don’t act as barriers to long-term career success,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Delivering on this goal two years ahead of schedule marks an important milestone in the City’s youth workforce efforts and deepens the pool of local talent in New York City.”

“All young people possess talent and promise, yet most lack the networks and resources to gain meaningful work experience that prepares them for careers. We created the Center for Youth Employment to help more young New Yorkers unlock their full potential and to give employers a local pool of qualified workers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, chair of the Mayor’s Fund. “I’m so proud that the CYE and its partners in City government and the private sector have achieved our initial goal two years early. The CYE will build on this early success and continue its efforts to help create a youth workforce system that is fair and accessible for young New Yorkers.”

Through unprecedented investments from the Administration and City Council, the City reached the Mayor’s goal two years before the original target of 2020. The efforts of City agencies that service youth – including the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Department of Education and the Administration for Children’s Services – and increased employer engagement advanced by the NYC Center for Youth Employment were integral to this effort.  

To announce this milestone achievement, the Center for Youth Employment today gathered its initial founding partners and other stakeholders to release an independent case study by Public Works Partners analyzing the Center’s last three years of work. The case study can be viewed and downloaded here.

An estimated total of 109,137 youth and young adults accessed career exploration opportunities during the current Fiscal Year — a 75 percent increase over the 2015 baseline.

“Today we celebrate an achievement not only for New York City, providing 100,000 work experiences for our City’s youth, but also a win for young people who are now on a career path through early work exposure and for NYC’s employers who are building their future talent pool.  We know that early work exposure can change the trajectory of a life; creating experiences and networks that are vital for future success, but we cannot do this work alone. Partnership with employers are a key to success and I thank the Center For Youth Employment, our City agencies and our City’s employers for coming to the table to build our future workforce,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships.

"The de Blasio administration is committed to helping every young New Yorker achieve career success and economic security by connecting classroom learning with real-world work experience," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. "This effort must leverage the strengths of the Department of Youth and Community Development, Department of Education and other partners within and beyond City government. The Center for Youth Employment is playing a vital role in aligning these partners and building a holistic and effective system that prepares our youth to thrive in the world of work."

Mayor de Blasio launched the Center for Youth Employment – a project of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC – in May 2015 with funding from 60 philanthropic partners and private sector employers representing a diverse cross-section of industries. The Center was tasked to deliver “more and better” opportunities for young people to gain work experience and build skills through collaboration with four key stakeholder groups: employers, funders, government, and service providers.

The Center for Youth Employment has helped drive dramatic growth and quality improvements in New York City’s youth workforce system by:

  • Supporting programming and growth of the Summer Youth Employment Program, managed by the Department of Youth and Community Development, which has seen overall growth from 47,126 participants in 2014 to 69,716 last year
  • Creating new program models with the Department of Education, including CareerCLUE and CTE Industry Scholars, to more closely link classroom learning with school-year and summer work experience
  • Working to recruit almost 1,000 new employers to hire interns, including through creation of seven “Industry Funds” in high-priority sectors of the City economy (professional services, fashion, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, media and entertainment, and real estate) to build pipelines of rising talent through career awareness and internship opportunities
  • Creating an Employer Best Practices Playbook to share effective tools and strategies in working with interns
  • Expanding and improving program options for high-need youth, including those in the shelter, foster care or juvenile justice systems and current and former Opportunity Youth (neither in school nor working) including launching Career Lift, a program to improve employee retention for low wage workers, piloting a first in the nation pay for success model.

Having reached the goal ahead of schedule, the Center and its partners are continuing to focus on program quality and system cohesion. Priorities over the next several years including more closely connecting classroom learning to work experiences; supporting seamless transitions from high school into postsecondary education and training programs; and more effectively informing City programs with the perspectives and experiences of employers and service providers.

“The Center for Youth Employment was developed with the goal of bringing better coordination and rigor to youth workforce investments being made throughout the City. In announcing the project, the Mayor set a number of ambitious goals, and we are thrilled to see one on those big goals reached this year, ahead of schedule.” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC. “We know that early work experiences can be transformational for youth and young adults. And creating over 100,000 work opportunities for our city's youth, in one year, is a great achievement for our whole city – and we thank the many partners across public and private sectors who helped support the work."

"On behalf of the Center for Youth Employment team, we're very proud to have surpassed the Mayor's goal of supporting 100,000 internships, summer jobs, mentorships and related work experiences per year, two years before the original target," said David Fischer, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Employment. "With deep appreciation for our partners who made this success possible, we look forward to continuing our work to help every young New Yorker achieve career success and economic security."

“100,000 of our City’s young people – and counting –can depend on internships, mentorships, and summer jobs every single year. This milestone means more students are able to explore careers and graduate with experiences that help them make informed choices about their future. And, it is the result of a collaboration between City agencies and employers that is focused on ensuring our young people can take full advantage of the life of the City, shape it, and become the leaders our entire country needs,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

“I am thrilled with the milestones reached in such a short period of time and I could not be more grateful for the public and private partners that have come together around the shared goal of supporting youth workforce pipelines,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders and other City-funded initiatives, teens and young adults have been exposed to everything from crime scene forensics to computer coding to advertising. DYCD looks forward to continuing our collaboration 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.”

"The Administration for Children’s Services is proud to partner with The Center for Youth Employment to create quality work experiences for youth in foster care,” said David A. Hansell, Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services. “Our work together resulted in more than 750 young people participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program last year and a new partnership with the Pinkerton Foundation to provide mentored internships to youth in care. This work is critical to ensuring that youth leave foster care with strong skills and connections to mentors, professionals and employers, positioning them for success in the New York City economy." 

“New York City has always been at the forefront of providing opportunities for professional growth. At the Human Resources Administration we have expanded opportunities to obtain college degrees and developed a new set of employment contracts to better assess and prepare our clients for long-term employment helping them on their path towards sustainable career opportunities with greater earning potential and transitioning off public assistance,” said Human Resources Administration Administrator Grace Bonilla. “Congratulations to the Center for Youth Employment for your great work preparing youth to become valuable members of our workforce.”

“Summer jobs not only provide young people with financial resources, but also can give them valuable real-world experience that will help them make informed career choices and understand what it takes to succeed in the job market,” said Senator Liz Krueger. “I applaud Mayor De Blasio and the Council for their investments in expanding both the number and the variety of employment opportunities for New York City's youth.”

“Our youth are an important resource because they are the leaders of tomorrow. Setting them on the right path early is very important,” Senator James Sanders Jr. said. “I commend the City for helping so many young New Yorkers get jobs and internships that will grow their experience and advance their talent. This will help our community cultivate a diverse workforce that will benefit all residents.” 

“Providing summer jobs, internships and mentorships to our youth is vital. They are our future, and we must ensure we pave the road so they have opportunities for success,” said Senator Jose Peralta. “Work experience not only improves chances and opens career doors for young adults but allows them to earn some cash while on vacation. I applaud the private-public partnership and Mayor de Blasio for reaching the objective to offer more than 100,000 summer jobs and internships.”
“This is excellent news! Investing in high quality opportunities for our youth to develop their skills should be a top priority. This is one more way to increase equality, social stability and employability of young people.” Senator Roxanne Persaud said.

"I am proud of the city's achievement of bringing professional opportunities, in the form of mentoring opportunities and internships to over 100,000 of our city's youth. In today's competitive economy, finding a job can be a serious struggle,” said Senator Marisol Alcantara. “It is imperative that we begin giving our children the tools and training needed to ensure economic and professional success for the next generation."

“Having worked with at-risk students for much of my career, I know how important it is for young people to receive real-world experience as they chart paths to their own careers. I applaud the public-private partnerships that have brought us to this significant milestone, as these internships and mentorships are investments in our young people and the future of our city’s workforce,” said Council Member Debi Rose, Chair of the Committee on Youth Services.

“The need for quality internships and mentorship programs is clear as studies prove that youngsters who receive early hands on work experiences do well in school, summer youth jobs, and other endeavors because they are well prepared. It's great we have reached the mayor's goal two years ahead of schedule but we can't rest on our laurels . It is imperative that we continue to invest in and strengthen our summer jobs, internships and mentorship programs for the benefit of our New York City youngsters and the future of New York City,” said Council Member Andy King.

“I want to commend Mayor de Blasio for his advocacy on behalf of our young people, as exemplified by the success of the Center for Youth Employment. Since 2015, the City Council has worked with the Mayor and numerous City agencies to create job opportunities for young people who are eager to join the workforce. These opportunities are a gateway for our children to realize their full potential and make positive contributions to our community,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “By providing over 100,000 publicly supported internships and mentorships to our city’s youth, we are making an important investment in the next generation of leaders.”  

CYE was launched with seed funding of $3.2 million from the city’s business and philanthropic community, including founding partners Citi Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, The James Family Charitable Foundation, Macy’s Inc., Tishman Speyer, and the Partnership for New York City. For more information about the Center for Youth Employment or how to get involved at an internship site, please visit

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