New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced an unprecedented expansion of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), with $236 million baseline funding which will allow a record-breaking 90,000 SYEP jobs.
On March 1, Adams opened applications for the SYEP, a program run by the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) dedicated to helping youth ages 14-24 gain summer jobs and working experience.
In addition to the 90,000 positions available through the SYEP, there are 10,000 summer jobs available through other city agencies as a result of an additional $79 million investment announced by Mayor Adams in the Fiscal Year 2023 Preliminary Budget.
“Providing programs like SYEP for young New Yorkers keeps them safe and helps them secure a better future,” said Mayor Adams. “We are thrilled to open up applications for tens of thousands of youth to engage in summer jobs, develop skills and carry memories that will last a lifetime.”
This investment in the city’s youth means that thousands more young people will be able to experience the benefits of the financial and educational opportunities made available to them through summer employment programs.
“This is one of the largest – if not the largest – one year expansion for SYEP and it’s going to mean ultimately that 20,000 more young people [than last year] get a job this summer,” said J.T Falcone Senior Policy Analyst at United Neighborhood Houses, an SYEP affiliate, to amNew York March 4. “SYEP has so many benefits that ripple out. There’s economic benefits, not only for young people but also for their families. A lot of our young people report that they contribute to their household finances using their payment. Young people experience major academic benefits; studies have shown increases to GPA the year following completion, and have shown that they’re less likely to call out absent.”
The expansion to 90,000 enrolled youth is a significant expansion from the following year which saw 75,000 young people participate. With this move forward, advocates are hopeful that this will signal further future expansion to allow even more youth to participate.
“This summer represents the city of New York’s largest investment ever in youth employment experiences for our young people,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “SYEP remains the cornerstone of this expansive effort and this year’s program will provide New York City youth with a variety of opportunities to explore careers, develop workplace skills, and secure a well-earned paycheck.”
Not only does SYEP provide immediate paying job opportunities for NYC youth, but other services are offered as well so that when young people age out of the program they will have the resources to pursue career opportunities.
“The Summer Youth Employment Program does more than connect young people to paid experiences — it provides them with invaluable career, civic, and leadership skills you don’t always find on a resume,” said DYCD Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Connect Valerie Mulligan. “DYCD and our network of SYEP providers, employers, and agency partners are thrilled to provide young people with a record number of opportunities this summer.”
This expansion has thrilled many involved with SYEP and other summer youth programs. With this growth, it shows advocates and constituents that their voices are being heard in city government and that they can dream even bigger.
“I know a lot of people who have worked in advocacy for two decades and haven’t had the chance to get their hands on an expansion that has this much potential to make such an impact,” said Falcone. “What I have been saying as loudly as I can to whoever will listen is ‘this is an example of what happens when government works with communities, follows the lead of their constituents and listens to stakeholders and works collaboratively to put things into action.’ This is an example of what happens when things work well.”
To apply visit the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program’s website.