Additional Funding Enables SYEP to Reach 65,000 New York Youth Ages 14-24

QUEENS – Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined by Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Council Members Elizabeth Crowley and Antonio Reynoso, alongside GRYC President Bob Monahan, visited the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) at I.S. 77 to celebrate a record $125 million in funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) in FY 2018. SYEP provides thousands of local young people with paid summer job opportunities for up to six weeks in July and August.

Over the course of the 2014-17 session, the Council has successfully led the charge to double the number of jobs available through the Summer Youth Employment Program. With youth empowerment standing as a consistent priority of the Council, the FY 2018 budget allows for the program to baseline an unprecedented 65,000 jobs for youth throughout the five boroughs.

The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council is one of several organizations participating in SYEP across New York City. Established in 1980, GRYC serves over 3,000 children and families daily, focusing outreach on education, counseling, job preparation and employment opportunities.

“The Summer Youth Employment Program is a vital asset in empowering New York City young people to follow their dreams and succeed,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Through providing mentorship and paid work opportunities, thousands of youth across the city are equipped with the tools and resources to excel in their chosen fields. I thank GRYC President Bob Monahan for the outreach performed by his organization, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio for their willingness to increase funding to this worthy initiative, and my colleagues on the City Council for their tireless advocacy in seeing this program thrive.”

“This Council has been relentless in our advocacy for the expansion and eventual universal funding of Summer Youth Employment because we understand how impactful it can be for young people who lack the career network and opportunities,” said Committee on Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “Numerous Council Members and leaders around the city have reaped the benefits of their SYEP experience, and we want to continue to provide this training to as many young New Yorkers as possible. I am incredibly proud of the results Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, my colleagues and I have gotten for SYEP and the year-long program, and I look forward to seeing funding for them grow.”

“I want to thank my colleagues in the City Council, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and the Mayor’s office for their work on this very important initiative,” said Committee on Youth Services Chair Mathieu Eugene. “By increasing the funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program in the FY18 budget, we are continuing our commitment to the empowerment of youth in New York City. The SYEP has instilled a strong work ethic in our young men and women that will benefit them for years to come. They are learning new skills that will lead to long term success, and ultimately help strengthen the bond they have within their communities.”

“Summer youth employment programs are so important to local kids, teaching them valuable job skills while they are helping others and contributing to the strength of our City,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “Many thanks to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for prioritizing the funding for this program and always advocating for our children.”

“Under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio and the City Council, funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program was baselined for the first time in the program’s 54-year history, and this summer we are providing jobs to more young people than at any time in recent memory. With a record number of worksites and increasingly diverse opportunities in all five boroughs, more and more young New Yorkers have a chance to work, and to change the trajectory of their careers and future,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.

“Through the efforts of the Speaker and the entire City Council, the GRYC was able to offer 1,600 young people the opportunity to work this summer.  They also had the foresight to add money to the City Budget for the Work, Learn and Grow Initiative to offer young people who are attending school, the opportunity to work during their academic year.  It just doesn’t get much better than that,” said Greater Ridgewood Youth Council President Bob Monahan.