The Summer Youth Employment Program Returns with Paid Jobs and Project-Based Experiences for Up To 75,000 Young People
Nation’s largest youth employment program kicks off today at more than 12,000 worksites across New York City
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today announced the return of the six-week Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). SYEP will play a pivotal role in the City’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing paid experiences for up to 75,000 teens and young adults this summer.
“When I say recovery for all of us, I mean all of us, especially young New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The Summer Youth Employment Program is back and providing teens and young adults with a paycheck and the skills they need to build a stronger future for themselves and our City.”
The Administration has more than doubled the size of the program from 2013, when SYEP served 35,997 participants in the last year of the Bloomberg administration, to 2019, when 74,453 youth participated. Over the same period, the City’s direct investment in the program increased from around $21 million to $134 million. The increase covered the expansion of the program, an increase in the New York State minimum wage to $15 per hour, and the development of new program options within SYEP.
At the height of the pandemic last summer, more than 35,000 young people participated through the virtual SYEP Summer Bridge initiative in order to keep participants and providers safe. The return of SYEP this summer means jobs and programming may be held in-person, remote or a hybrid combination of both.
Teens aged 14 and 15 will learn about career opportunities and make a difference in their communities while receiving a stipend for project-based activities, and young people aged 16–21 have the chance to improve their work readiness skills and explore career pathways through summer jobs paid at the prevailing minimum wage. Young adults aged 22-24 who face employment barriers or reside in NYCHA developments may be eligible for special programming.
Participants who are part of SYEP’s CUNY Recovery Corps will work on projects supporting the City’s communities as they continue to get back on their feet following the pandemic.
“CUNY students are making history by reviving, renewing and rebuilding NYC this summer. CUNY Recovery Corps is a special Summer Youth Employment Program for CUNY undergraduate students. Through a collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, the Department of Youth and Community Development and hundreds of employer-partners throughout the City, CUNY Recovery Corps students are working on projects to support small businesses, public health organizations, community-based nonprofits, government agencies and schools. Students will learn and serve while gaining paid professional training across the City,” said City University of New York Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
As a result of a national effort to encourage young people to save and make healthy financial choices, the number of “banked” SYEP participants has increased 500 percent since the start of the initiative in 2014. Last summer, at the height of the pandemic, over 59 percent of young people signed up for direct deposit. The multi-year initiative is funded by the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund and the Citi Foundation.