New York City has extended the deadline for its Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) until April 14, celebrating its 60th year. SYEP provides paid job opportunities and career exploration for youth aged 14-24, with a capacity for 100,000 participants, making it one of the nation’s largest youth employment programs. The program runs from July 5 to August 12 and from July 12 to August 19.
Younger participants (ages 14-15) engage in 12.5 hours of weekly work readiness training, career exposure, and project-based learning, with potential earnings of up to $700. Older participants (ages 16-24) are matched with jobs through community-based organizations, earning the city’s minimum wage of $15 per hour and the potential to make up to $2,250 by the program’s end. Jobs are available across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, offering diverse experiences in various fields.
Applicants are not guaranteed a spot, and selection is determined through a lottery system. Some youth facing specific barriers to employment can be directly referred to SYEP through city agencies. While SYEP strives to be inclusive by pairing LGBTQ youth with affirming jobs, eligibility for undocumented youth remains limited. A small DYCD program, SYEP Pathways, aims to offer opportunities to some undocumented youth, but alternative private options with higher compensation may also be available.
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