The number of vulnerable youth enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program triples from 1,000 to 3,000
Celebrating two years of progress, the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), a public-private partnership between the de Blasio administration and local private sector leaders, tripled the number of summer jobs for New York City’s most vulnerable youth—New Yorkers ages 14 to 24 who are or have been involved in the shelter, justice or foster care systems.
Further, the administration has built and strengthened an inter-agency ecosystem of policies and programs to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth, who make up a large share of the City’s vulnerable youth population. Through a $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation, CYE in concert with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), other agencies, and community-based partner the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) assessed how New York City could increase LGBTQ youth employment and support them once employed. This research will inform a first-of-its-kind comprehensive LGBTQ Youth Employment Best Practices Manual.
“We are extremely proud of this program, and look forward to its continued success. Creating opportunities for our most vulnerable children facilitates personal growth for them, and economic growth for the City. We all benefit from the accomplishments made possible by the Center for Youth Employment,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio
“Since its inception, the Center for Youth Employment has delivered on its promise to support NYC’s most vulnerable youth,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “LGBTQ youth, in particular, are often plagued with obstacles that include homelessness, stressful academic environments and abandonment. LGBTQ youth have more support when City agency partners and local private sector leaders work collaboratively and there is better access to jobs and stable employment. Precious lives are saved and nurtured."
“We are committed to building a strong safety net to support our young people and giving them the tools to launch successful careers. These programs reflect the innovative and dynamic ways the public and private sectors can work together to ensure we are creating access and opportunity for all New Yorkers, especially our most vulnerable communities,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Fund.
CYE was created in 2015 with a focus on building support systems for vulnerable youth, who are at higher risk of negative economic outcomes, including low educational attainment, unemployment, low earnings, incarceration and homelessness, and ultimately providing them with universal access to summer jobs. Since the establishment of CYE, the number of vulnerable youth enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) grew from 1,000 in 2014 to 3,000 in 2016. This growth was fueled by increased public and private investments, including support from Astoria Energy II, LLC. Updated figures for 2017 will be released in July and are expected to continue this upward trend.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth comprise a large share of the vulnerable youth population. Over the past few years, Mayor de Blasio’s administration has intensified efforts to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ youth. For instance, in 2015, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City in partnership with CYE, received a $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation to understand common challenges and unmet needs for LGBTQ youth in NYC’s workforce. Working in collaboration with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), other agencies, and community-based partner the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), CYE assessed how New York City could increase LGBTQ youth employment and robustly support them once employed.
Using this research, CYE provided recommendations to the Children’s Cabinet, DYCD, the Human Resources Administration and HMI to produce a first-of-its-kind comprehensive LGBTQ Youth Employment Best Practices Manual. This manual will ensure all City youth workforce programs are affirming and accommodating of LGBTQ youth. Further, CYE and its partners will develop an outreach strategy to increase recruitment of LGBTQ applicants for SYEP; make recommendations for supports to ensure a quality experience for participants via the vulnerable youth working group; and eventually track the number of LGBTQ applicants and participants in SYEP by modifying the application process to capture additional, voluntarily provided information about applicants.
In addition, this summer, CYE in partnership with the Young Men’s Initiative and DYCD, will launch a pilot program to support a targeted group of 50 vulnerable youth in Queens who are not yet work-ready. Participants will develop critical thinking and communications skills through work-based learning activities designed and supervised by The LAMP, a nonprofit focusing on digital literacy and media awareness.
“Addressing the needs of our most vulnerable young people, especially in the context of their job market prospects, is critical for the City’s economic future. Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders and other City-funded programs, teens and young adults have been exposed to everything from crime scene forensics to computer coding to advertising,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “DYCD continues to work with the Center for Youth Employment to ensure all young New Yorkers have equal access to internships, jobs, and career training opportunities that are crucial to their success.”