Summer Youth Employment Program begins in N.Y. City

Council Member Mathieu Eugene represents a district with one of the largest Haitian populations in the city.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

Summer employment is one of the exciting things college and high school students look forward to each year. The 2017 summer is no exception, and last week, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio along with the New York City Commissioner for the Division of Youth and Community Development, Bill Chong announced the start of the 2017 Summer Youth Employment Program, (SYEP).

The Summer Youth Employment Program takes place in all five boroughs. A record number of more than 70,000 young New York City residents, ages 14 to 24 years are experiencing entry-level positions of work in all locations. The six-week program runs from July 5 – Aug. 12, 2017, with more than 11,000 New York City businesses, private and public agencies employing the 70,000 young people. The city agencies are hospitals, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, non-profits and retailers.

“Employers consistently say they want to hire young adults who possess work skills on day one,” stated Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the mayor and director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed the importance of allowing the New York City youths to explore their career interests through these job opportunities. The mayor said that through thriving businesses in the city there is an increase in job placements in all five boroughs. “The Summer Youth Employment Program facilitates the kind of real world training and support necessary to prepare our vulnerable children and youths for future careers,” de Blasio added.

Commissioner for the Division of Youth and Community Development, Bill Chong, a former participant in the Summer Youth Employment Program, said the expansion of the program across all five boroughs gives more young people the chance at an internship that could change the trajectory of their careers. “As a former SYEP participant, I gained invaluable experience that I took with me throughout my public service,” Chong noted.

New York City Councilmember, Dr. Mathieu Eugene, chair of the Committee on Youth Services, said he was pleased that 2017 was stronger than ever. “By working together we have been able to double the size of this important program.” Dr. Eugene said he was excited that so many young people will have the opportunity to spend the summer working. “It is a fact that summer jobs keep city youths out of trouble and on a positive path toward becoming productive citizens,” the councilman stated.

The New York City Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) has been in operation since 1963 and this year it marks its highest record of employed youths. Interested employers can contact the Mayor’s Office on how to participate.

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