Monday, March 22, 2021



Nation’s largest summer youth employment initiative returns with paid work experiences and project-based learning opportunities for 70,000 young people; Applications now available at


 Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York City young people between the ages of 14 and 21 can apply through April 23 for the 2021 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The initiative, which was launched in 1963, returns this year after the all-virtual SYEP Summer Bridge 2020 was created to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic last summer. Beginning on July 6, the six-week program will offer SYEP participants the opportunity to explore their interests and career pathways, build workplace skills, and engage in learning experiences that help develop their social, civic and leadership skills. By participating in structured project- and work-based opportunities, NYC youth are better prepared for careers of the future and to help the City recover in the months and years to come.


 “Young New Yorkers have been through so much this year, and our recovery cannot leave them behind,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am thrilled the Summer Youth Employment Program will connect 70,000 young people to paid opportunities, and I encourage everyone interested to apply!”  


"Many of New York City’s successful leaders started their careers with a summer job or a mentor who helped build their skills and self-confidence,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "After a challenging year of social distancing and remote learning, the return of the Summer Youth Employment Program will restore a sense of normalcy for thousands of young people, provide income and give them the tools they need to launch successful careers."


"SYEP is a vital and resilient New York City institution that, like the city itself, has grown and evolved over the years," said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phil Thompson. "This year's program builds upon the traditional SYEP model to further incorporate connections between education and the world of work, while supporting participants in exploring potential careers and building their skills as community leaders."

“The Summer Youth Employment Program has been a rite of passage for young New Yorkers for nearly 60 years. This summer, SYEP takes on the added role of bringing back a semblance of normalcy to the lives of tens of thousands of youth whose lives were upended by COVID-19. The opportunities offered by SYEP will go a long way toward helping teens and young adults learn critical skills and map out their futures—and become important contributors to New York City’s recovery from the pandemic,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.


“SYEP is a critical component in our plan to work with community-based organizations to provide students with a holistic summer experience that includes opportunities to heal, grow and dream of their futures,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Now more than ever, we must meet New York City’s young people where they are and open doors for our most vulnerable students who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. I’m confident that this year’s participants will have meaningful work experiences while they learn work skills and earn a salary, restoring a sense of normalcy to their lives and putting them on the path to success in their future careers.”


“The full return of SYEP this summer will serve as a powerful affirmation that New York City is on the road to recovery from the public health and economic crises we have faced since last spring,” said David Fischer, executive director of the NYC Center for Youth Employment (CYE). “CYE is proud to support DYCD, DOE and other partnering City agencies, and thousands of employers hosting SYEP participants in creating valuable experiences that will help propel young New Yorkers into a brighter future.”


“The Summer Youth Employment Program and Ladders for Leaders have for years been an emblematic example of the power of partnership,” said Daniele Baierlein and JL Paniagua Valle, Co-executive Directors of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Thank you to employers throughout the City for providing tens of thousands of young people with critical professional development this summer and bringing New York City closer to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”


This summer, young people will be connected to diverse opportunities through robust partnerships between community-based organizations, employers and their schools. Older youth aged 16-21 who participate in the program will be placed in jobs, work-based experiences and technical and professional training that will expose them to promising career pathways, meet their unique needs and interests, and develop new skills. SYEP’s youngest participants, aged 14-15, can take part in structured project-based learning experiences that will provide a work-readiness foundation along with enriching career exploration and opportunities to develop social and emotional skills. Specialized programming is also available for New Yorkers who are 21 to 24 years old. 


Opportunities are available through the following initiatives:


SYEP Community-Based: Provides NYC youth between the ages of 14 and 21 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience. There are opportunities with employers in all five boroughs, including health care, retail, information technology, construction, industrial/manufacturing, food service, media, and business/professional services.


CareerReady SYEP: Designed for students between the ages of 14 and 21 from select DOE schools to provide career exploration opportunities and paid work experience.


SYEP Emerging Leaders: Provides certain eligible NYC youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience. Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Homeless & Runaway (residing in shelters)
  • Justice/Court-Involved
  • Foster Care
  • Receiving Preventive Services through Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
  • Human Resources Administration (HRA) participants receiving Cash Assistance via Business Link
  • Students from Access and Alternative Schools
  • Gender-Based Violence


SYEP Map to $uccess and SYEP CareerFirst: Offers NYC youth between the ages of 14 and 24 from select NYCHA developments identified by the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience.


Outstanding high school and college students can also take part in Ladders for Leaders, a competitive professional summer internship component of SYEP that connects youth with leading corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies in New York City. Past employer partners have included A+E Networks, Amalgamated Bank, AppNexus, Bank of America, Deloitte, Emmis Communications, KPMG, Maimonides Hospital, Medidata, the MET, NASDAQ, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC Department of Buildings (DOB), Tishman Speyer, Rudin ManagementVox Media, Seven Squared Media, Sotheby’s, and Y&R.


To ensure participant safety and meet the changing needs of employers during the COVID-19 recovery, all project-based learning and work-based opportunities may take place online, in-person or in a hybrid environment. SYEP participants in work-based experiences are paid in hourly wages at the prevailing minimum wage; younger youth participating in project-based experiences receive a stipend.


SYEP applications can be completed online or at participating community-based organizations, depending on the program option. Online applications are available at For more information, call 311 or DYCD Community Connect (1-800-246-4646).

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