Report provides recommendations to enhance City’s youth workforce programming
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito today released the Youth Employment Task Force Report, which provides recommendations to enhance youth workforce programming and services to the City’s most vulnerable youth. The task force was convened in September 2016, after the City’s FY2017 $85 million in funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program and Work, Learn, Grow allowed a record breaking 60,000 young people to participate in SYEP during Summer 2016.
“When we invest in our City’s kids, we invest in our future. For more than 50 years, the Summer Youth Employment Program has offered the kind of real world training and support necessary to prepare our most vulnerable kids for the jobs of ,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This report will help strengthen our programming, so we can continue to connect the next generation to job opportunities for years to come.”
“For decades SYEP has allowed thousands of young New Yorkers – predominantly from communities of color – to both access employment opportunities and continuously improve their workforce experiences,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark -Viverito. “This report provides great insight into how we can continue to take smart and creative steps to ensure our youth reach their fullest potential.”
Chaired by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, the task force was charged with developing recommendations to enhance the City’s youth workforce programs and services provided to the most vulnerable youth. The task force’s recommendations were organized in two categories: program focus and program quality, and operations and system-building. Recommendations include:
· Investing in enhanced support services for the Vulnerable Youth track -Expanding services to include pre-program orientation and counseling to help meet the unique needs for vulnerable populations.
· Strengthening connections between SYEP providers and schools to improve in-school career development for young people -Creating more deliberate partnerships between our schools and SYEP would allow students to receive dedicated City support around career exploration during the academic year.
· Facilitating seamless entry between NYC youth employment initiatives -Bolstering interagency connections is particularly essential to improve SYEP for disconnected youth, who require stronger, more deliberate connections to WLG and other programming.
· Creating a specific Younger Youth track focused on career exploration -Younger program participants would benefit from a more tailored SYEP experience focused on career exploration and project-based learning.
· Revamping SYEP timeline to support better job development and matching process -By starting the entire process earlier, providers would have more time to plan, develop quality placements and otherwise raise the quality of experience for participants.
· Boosting system-building efforts through new training programs, data systems updates, leveraging of available resources and new connections -Enhancing the key areas of the SYEP and WLG programs, including provider capacity, interagency connections, employer engagement, and evaluation, will improve overall quality and operational efficiency.
These recommendations will be incorporated into a concept paper that the Department of Youth and Community Development will release this summer. This will give the provider community an opportunity to submit feedback on enhancements to the City’s programming. The recommendations and the concept paper will also help inform DYCD’s Request for Proposal which will be released in Fall 2017.
In addition to co-Chairs Deputy Mayor Buery and Council Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland, members of the Youth Employment Task Force include:
· Bill Chong, Commissioner, Department of Youth and Community Development
- Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships
- Mathieu Eugene, Council Member
- Steven Matteo, Council Member
- David Nocenti, Executive Director, Union Settlement
- Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizen’s Committee for Children
- Lucy Friedman, President, ExpandED Schools
- Kathy Wylde, President, CEO, Partnership for NYC
- Sharon Sewell-Fairman, Executive Director, Workforce Professionals Institute
- Susan Stamler, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses
- David Jones, President, Chief Executive Officer, Community Service Society
- Lou Miceli, Executive Director, JobsFirstNYC
- Emary Aronson, Managing Director, Education and Relief Fund, Robin Hood Foundation
- Amy Ellen Schwartz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs and Professor of Economics, Public Administration, and International Affairs, Syracuse University, the Maxwell School
- David Barth, Director of Youth, Opportunity and Learning, Ford Foundation
- Cidra Sebastien, Associate Executive Director, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
- William Wingate, Respite Care Worker, Center for Human Development & Family Services
- Laurie Dien, Vice President of Programs, The Pinkerton Foundation
The three City Council Members on the Task Force worked with a team of their colleagues, Council Members Chin, Gibson, Rodriguez, Torres and Williams to support the work.
“We know that access to work experiences helps young people develop academic and social skills that are critical to success in school and in life. This is especially true for children living in challenging circumstances – children who might not have the networks and resources to find internship opportunities on their own, and for whom exposure to the world of work can be particularly impactful,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. “The task force's recommendations will help strengthen the quality of the program and ensure its reaching the youth who need it the most.”