$15.2 million Council allocation FY 15 budget supports additional 10,700 summer jobs for city youth
Brooklyn, NY—Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, the New York City Council, and community advocates celebrated the first day of the City’s expanded Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), a citywide initiative to provide young people with paid summer jobs, job readiness training, and opportunities for career and educational exploration throughout the summer months.
Council Members joined with CAMBA on the site of their successful food pantry and hydroponics farm, where students and volunteers learn sustainable, healthy agricultural strategies to promote local food security. Through SYEP, youth from around New York City will gain invaluable access and experience in this more of New York City’s unique industries.
In the FY15 Budget, the New York City Council invested $15.2 million in SYEP to support an additional 10, 700 summer jobs, serving over 47,000 youth in New York City.
“The Summer Youth Employment Program is an invaluable opportunity for our youth to take advantage of the diversity of industry and career opportunities New York City has offer,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In getting a head start this summer, the next generation of innovators will cultivate the tools they need to surmount the challenges of unemployment and economic hardship facing our workforce. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in the New York City Council to announce the first day of this essential program, and I look forward to hearing about the our young people’s great experiences at the end of the summer.”
“I am so pleased that we were successful in adding more than 10,700 job slots to the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) this year,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Chair of the Committee on Youth Services. “The SYEP provides our youth with the experiences, skills and confidence they need to succeed in society. As the Chair of the Youth Services Committee, I have been tirelessly advocating for improving and increasing services for our young people. We must continue to make a strong investment in our youth to guarantee that they will remain on a positive path that allows them to flourish. I applaud Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the City Council for their strong commitment and desire to providing resources to our youth that will help them reach their full potential and lead lives that are filled with happiness and inspiration.”
“As unemployment persists at high numbers across our city, the City Council is taking a big step toward tackling it by providing thousands more job opportunities to our youth,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Expanding the Summer Youth Employment Program will pay major dividends for years to come as our young people will learn the skills necessary to thrive in professional environments across all fields. With Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s leadership and my colleagues’ support, we are able to increase the chances that unemployment will drop, as we progress out of the deep recession we faced just years ago.”
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), administered by the Department of Youth and Community Development, provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August.
SYEP offers entry-level employment opportunities in a variety of fields, including:
• Government Agencies
• Summer Camps
• Small Businesses
• Law Firms
• Sports Enterprises
• Retail Organizations
SYEP also provides workshops on job readiness, career exploration, financial literacy and opportunities to continue education and social growth. Programs and applications are located in community-based organizations in all five boroughs of New York City, and youth can apply on-site or online during the application period. Participants are selected by lottery for the program. SYEP also offers specialized programming for disabled, foster care, runaway/homeless and court-involved youth.
“On behalf the 10, 700 young people in New York City who are starting jobs this summer, CAMBA thanks Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Mathieu Eugene and the City Council for your support to the 2014 Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Valerie Barton-Richardson, Executive Vice President at CAMBA. “We are especially grateful to the Council for expanding the funding and ensuring that 10,700 additional young people have summer jobs this year. These jobs teach young people how to work, introduce them to career options and give them a paycheck that helps our youth learn money management, save for college and even help their families make ends meet. Studies show that early work experiences have a lifetime impact, leading to higher future earnings. Our communities also benefit from the services our young workers provide and our businesses benefit from their labor and from a better prepared workforce.”
“The Summer Youth Employment Program is important for people my age because it’s so hard to find a job,” said Taylor Sinclair-Woods, a three-year participant in SYEP. “It’s a great opportunity, because I’ve been looking for a job for the past six months. This will mean money in my pocket, but I can also help my mom pay her bills. This job at the food pantry will be perfect because I will get some experience in my field. This is not only a job; it is real-world experience.”