New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams and member of the Progressive Caucus joined the Community Service Society of New York (CSS) and an interdisciplinary group of advocates from law enforcement, youth services, legal services and violence interrupters, to call for a significantly increased youth employment program, including universal summer youth jobs and doubled year-round youth jobs.

CSS released a new report today which makes the case for universal summer jobs, and outlines how the City can improve the existing Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), to better connect it to students’ year-round educational experiences in school, and improve their chances of long-term career success. The CSS proposal cites data showing that youth employment remains at abysmally low levels, having never recovered from the Great Recession. The report also shows the positive impact that summer jobs have on a range of academic, behavioral, and employment-related outcomes for youth. Summer jobs have been shown to reduce “summer melt” (the decreases in academic skills that happen during idle months); reduce risky behavior; improve chances of longer-term career success; and infuse our public, nonprofit, and private sector employers with youthful energy and effort. Despite the program’s success, the City funded only 55,000 program slots even though over 100,000 youth applied for SYEP. Full Release


“Summer jobs save lives and have the potential to transform our communities,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams. “We know students who participate in youth employment have stronger test scores, are more involved in school, are less likely to be incarcerated and are more likely to stay alive. We’re asking the administration to support our communities, reduce crime and improve education by fully funding universal summer youth jobs and doubling year-round youth jobs. We simply can’t afford not to invest in our youth.”


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