July 25, 2018
NEW YORK— Mayor de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong today announced that the 2018 Summer Youth Employment Program is expected to provide jobs for up to 75,000 young New Yorkers. Under the de Blasio Administration, the number of available positions for young people between the ages of 14 and 24 has more than doubled. SYEP, launched in 1963, is the nation's largest summer youth employment initiative, and provides up to six weeks of entry-level experience at worksites in all five boroughs.
"This summer, 75,000 of New York City's young people have access to the opportunities that employment provides. We are leveraging the resources of the City to ensure young people can obtain real-world job training, explore career interests, and have a productive summer," said Mayor de Blasio. "When we invest in our City's kids, we invest in our future."
Mayor de Blasio launched the Center for Youth Employment through the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC in May 2015. It works with 60 philanthropic partners and the private sector to help expand the City's employment services for young New Yorkers, including SYEP. In collaboration with City agencies, employers and other stakeholders, the Center for Youth Employment is focused on increasing private sector involvement in these programs.
"I am proud the Council's support of the Summer Youth Employment Program helped expand the number of SYEP slots to a record number of 75,000 slots this summer. Getting 75,000 young people meaningful, paid, work experience is critical to ensuring their future success. The Council will continue to support the Summer Youth Employment Program, its providers, and its participants as it is a key youth program that has a positive impact on young people in every part of this City," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
"In a city with so many thriving industries and opportunities, summer employment is one of the most valuable experiences we can provide our teens and young adults. With this historic increase to 75,000 jobs, more young people will have a meaningful workplace experience this summer. Connecting our City's young people with jobs will provide them with the knowledge that builds the foundation for lifelong career success," said Phillip Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives.
"SYEP gave me my first introduction into the workforce, and my love of public service is a result of this program, which positively affected the career choices I have made. Every year we give more and more young people the chance at an internship that could change the trajectory of their careers. Through SYEP, 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. I could not be more proud of leading an agency that supports a program that has been instilling confidence, a strong work ethic and important skills in hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers for more than a half-century," said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.
"When the Mayor's Fund launched the Center for Youth Employment three years ago, two areas of focus were expanding high quality internships and growing summer jobs for vulnerable youth in the foster care, shelter and juvenile justice systems. We are thrilled to see that both these options have more than tripled in size over the past four years thanks to the commitment of city partners including the Mayor, the City Council and DYCD, and a broad coalition of private sector partners and funders who understand the value and importance of this work," said Darren Bloch, Executive Director, The Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC.
"When it comes to the world of work—showing up on time, completing assignments, working in teams, handling conflict, and managing money—experience is the best teacher. SYEP has provided and supported that experience for generations of youth and young adult workers in New York City. The Center for Youth Employment is proud to support this program in all its facets, from the professional internships offered through Ladders for Leaders to supported work for high-need youth and the newly launched school-based option piloting this summer," said David Fischer, Executive Director, the NYC Center for Youth Employment.
"Summer jobs enrich the lives of students both inside and outside of the classroom. Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong, 75,000 young New Yorkers will have more money in their pockets today and skills to enhance their job prospects for tomorrow," said State Senator Brad Hoylman.
"Each summer, thousands of New York City youths who would otherwise find themselves jobless over their school break, are gainfully employed, bringing in both a paycheck, work experience that will help them in the future, and in many cases, paid summer internships with a number of businesses and other organizations. I'm happy to see those jobs for young people ages 14 to 24 has doubled. May that number continue to grow, to the benefit of both the youth and the City," said State Senator Luis Sepulveda.
"Connecting our youth to real employment opportunities does not only help them be productive during the summer, but it also helps them develop valuable skills that will allow them to compete in an increasingly demanding job market. I am excited to welcome young adults of the SYEP program to my office once again, and I look forward to working with them to make this experience a meaningful and inspiring one. I commend the Mayor's administration for continuing to promote this program and provide the necessary support and resources to our City's next generation of leaders," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.
"Job placement and internship opportunities for New York City youth are both necessary and transforming. Because of an internship I was able to access what would eventually become my government career, therefore I understand firsthand the impact of simply being exposed to experiences, resources and meaningful training. I stand with the Mayor to continue to increase the number of participants and sites so that more of our youth are able to engage and flourish both short term and long term," said Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo.
"SYEP offer teens and young adults the opportunity to explore the workforce with a robust number of worksites all offering valuable experience in different fields. My office serves as a worksite every summer and welcomes participants during the winter and spring programs for the youth. It is very satisfying to know that our youth are being exposed to learning in real world scenarios granting them invaluable experience as they build their profiles. I commend DYCD and the City for investing and believing in our youth that deserve the practical tools to lead and provide for our communities in the near future," said Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa.
"I applaud this administration for providing even more young New Yorkers with the means to acquire valuable skills and connections early on through an expansion of The Summer Youth Employment Program. This is how we put them on the path to successful and rewarding careers," said Assembly Member Harvey Epstein.
"The Summer Youth Employment Program provides a unique opportunity for teenagers and young adults to gain work experience and develop valuable relationships with mentors that can help them grow professionally. This program is especially important for minority youth who experience more obstacles when seeking employment and developing long-lasting work relationships. Through this program, we can empower women and minorities and improve our communities' socioeconomic mobility. Thank you to the City for their leadership on this initiative, and I look forward to working together help increase economic opportunities for all New Yorkers," said Assembly Member Yuh Line Niou.
"Connecting our City's youth with jobs puts money in their pockets today and equips them with skills and experiences that will give them a leg up tomorrow. Studies show this program improves school attendance and helps our kids stay safer," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.
"Summer internships provide our young people with a great way to get involved in their communities, learn new skills, and get onto the career ladder. I commend Mayor de Blasio and DYCD Commissioner Chong for leading an incredible expansion of SYEP that has provided a substantial number of workplace opportunities for Brooklyn's youth. It is critical that we continue to pave new pathways for our city's next generation of leaders," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
"The SYEP program allows many young Staten Islanders to begin thinking about their careers and taking steps to achieve their goals. This program is beneficial not only to the high school students who participate, but also for the employers who hire them. I'm pleased to see so many Staten Islanders getting involved with SYEP this summer," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.
"The Summer Youth Employment Program has a decades-long record of connecting young people—myself included—with their communities, teaching them financial literacy and preparing them for successful careers. The annual expansion of SYEP is a meaningful investment in young people and in the future well-being of our city. I am excited for all the young people who are starting their summer employment, and I will continue to work to expand this program, so that all who apply can have this opportunity," said Council Member Debi Rose, chair of the Youth Services Committee.
"The Summer Youth Employment Program continues to serve an important purpose in the lives of our City's young people. As a member of the Committee on Youth Services, one of my top priorities is to ensure that young men and women in New York City have the opportunity to attain valuable workplace experience that will set them on a positive career path. I want to commend Mayor de Blasio for working with the City Council to raise the number of employment slots to 75,000. It is my hope that by working together, we can facilitate the expansion of the SYEP so that it will benefit the next generation of New Yorkers," said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.
"The summer months are the most fun yet trying times for our City's youth if they don't have activities to keep them occupied. Youth programs, such as SYEP, provide a number of vital services in education, computer & technology, the arts, personal development and community involvement to enhance their learning experience. When we invest in our youth we invest in our City's future," said Council Member Andy King, chair of the Committee on Juvenile Justice.
"By making historic commitments to achieve the goal of having a summer job for every teen that wants one, we are expanding knowledge, experience and opportunity for a record number of young people. As a former participant of the Summer Youth Employment Program, I can attest to the positive effect these jobs have on teens just beginning their career journey. I thank the de Blasio Administration, including Commissioner Chong, for joining the City Council to expand SYEP's reach in our communities," said Council Member Margaret Chin.
As part of Summer Jobs Connect, a national initiative connects young people seeking summer employment with appropriate banking products and financial education, 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 hundreds of incentives deposited to their accounts ranging from $25-$500. This summer, nearly 28,000 young people in New York City signed up for direct deposit accounts, a 500 percent increase since 2014. This multi-year initiative, spearheaded by the Citi Foundation and the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, is supporting an additional 650 jobs this summer and financial empowerment services for all participating youth.
"We are proud to continue our collaboration with the Cities for Financial Empowerment, Mayor de Blasio, First Lady McCray and the NYC Center for Youth Employment, to connect more young people in New York City with summer job opportunities. Over the past four years, we've worked together to leverage the summer job experience by adding financial education to the mix and helping shift youth attitudes about money management and long-term goals," said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation.
Since the beginning of the de Blasio Administration, the number of vulnerable youth enrolled in SYEP increased from 1,000 in 2014 to more than 3,000 in 2018.
SYEP participants are connected to diverse opportunities at worksites that include government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises and retail: