Renewed SYEP Offers 75,000 Jobs to Youths This Summer

I’m thrilled to announce that we're kicking off the largest Summer Youth Employment Program in the city's history.

The program is also the largest of its kind in the nation. I’m proud that our city acknowledges its importance and last week demonstrated its support for the program with the city budget adopted by City Council last week.

The new city budget features an investment of $167 million for 75,000 slots for SYEP, restoring more than 35,000 jobs cut from the program last fiscal year. A total of 5,000 slots are designated for CUNY students.

The pandemic prevented our SYEP from offering traditional work experience to our young people last summer. However, more than 35,000 youth participated in the SYEP Summer Bridge 2020, a virtual program that offered skill-building activities, career information and some stipends for participation.

And yet, so many of our children languished through what can only be described as the lost summer of 2020. Our new budget will help them rebound.

I’m personally very proud of my committee’s work on Youth Services during the past year. And I’d like to point to one incredible accomplishment: For the first time, we are linking the Summer Youth Employment Program with the Summer Rising program.

This represents a paradigm shift. The Department of Education and Department of Youth & Community Development will be working together to integrate academics, recreation, exploration and fun. Also, this program assures a slot for every student K-12 who wants to participate in summer school and summer camp programs.

Summer Rising offers students opportunities for recreation while addressing unfinished learning – a critically important response to the pandemic’s impact the on the school year that just ended.

I believe the combination of these two summer programs not only represents an imaginative development in youth services but also makes a significant contribution to our city’s recovery.

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