SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT MATTERS
What is SYEP?
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) supports communities across the state in creating summer jobs for youth from low-income families. These summer work opportunities allow young New Yorkers to gain new skills this summer, resulting in improved academic performance and increasing future job prospects.
To be eligible, young people must be ages 14 to 20 and have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (or $39,850 for a family of three). Employers can use the funds to subsidize wages, support education and training activities, as well as offer counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work.
Why does it matter?
In New York State 13.6%, roughly 291,900 of young adults between the ages of 16-24 are currently not in school or working. The largest percentage among those young adults are of Black & Latino descent.
High unemployment for young people further exacerbates growing economic inequality. Earnings gained by young adults can support the critical economic needs of their families and create more financially sustainable homes.
SYEP is the entry level pathway of economic mobility for New York's most vulnerable youth and their families. The program exposes young adults to the world of work and grants young adults the opportunity to develop critical “soft skills”, such as working in teams, showing up on time, problem solving, and customer service, that are crucial to long-term employability. A critical set of skills many employers see lacking in today's workforce.
About Summer Youth Programs
Summer youth employment programs across the State vary in size and funding. Due to the importance of this issue, many local areas supplement their State funding with local tax levy, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds, and private dollars, increasing the total number of youth served substantially.