Members of the City Council Progressive Caucus and Black, Latino and Asian Caucus stood with youth advocates to denounce the Executive Budget’s failure to increase youth jobs after the Council expressed this as a priority. The coalition gathered to champion a new plan to achieve universal jobs in advance of testimony by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) before a joint hearing with the Committee on Finance and Youth Services. Full Release
Thanks to United Neighborhood Houses, Community Service Society, Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes Inc., Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy, East Flatbush Village and Communities United for Police Reform for your participation.
WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY:
“Providing youth jobs is one of the most important services we can provide as a city to prepare our teens for the real world and help show them the satisfaction that comes from working hard to earn your own money,” said Caucus Co-Chair, Council Member Donovan Richards. “These jobs keep our youth off the streets and out of trouble, while also teaching them valuable skills that they can take to other lines of work in the future.”
“The Summer Youth Employment program has demonstrated outcomes for NYC youth – it provides them with positive experiences, helps them gain real skills they can use in the workforce, and offers the opportunity to develop financial literacy. Now is the time for us to make a commitment to our youth and ensure that they have the work opportunities that they deserve,” said Caucus Co-Chair, Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
“Every young adult in our City who wants a summer job should be able to get one, period. We will continue to fight for more summer youth jobs in the City’s budget and push the Administration to make a commitment to SYEP expansion because a gap in meeting the needs of our youth is unacceptable. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Council and the Administration to ensure that all applications for SYEP jobs are granted and accepted,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Co-Chair of the BLAC.
“As the Council negotiates its budget priorities, we are concerned over the lack of funding for the Department of Youth and Community Development, given how important it is for our communities. With over 130,000 applications received last year and unparalleled results, there is no good reason why we should not expand the Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Finance Committee. “I look forward to developing a plan to meet the demand for youth jobs by 2019 including harnessing the job opportunities available in New York City, restructuring enrollment and providing greater support to our partners.”
“I am hopeful we will be able to receive an increase in the number of jobs available this year, and receive a verbal commitment to fully fund this initiative by 2019. This issue is a priority for many of my colleagues in the Council, and should be treated as such. There is no disagreement that the single most effective thing that can be done to curtail youth violence, even above law enforcement, is a job. The statistics are clear – employing young people strengthens communities, reduces gun violence and shows young people a better way. We simply can’t afford not to invest in our youth,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams
“Funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program is a smart investment in New York City’s future,” said Caucus Vice-Chair, Council Member Ben Kallos. “New York City should increase funding so SYEP can get at least 100,000 youths into the workforce each year.”
“Summer jobs for youth are important – not just for pocket money, but to teach our kids the value of a hard day’s work, and to give them the self-confidence and independence that will last them a lifetime,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Too many young people, including many in my Council district, are getting left behind. That is why I ask this Administration to increase summer and year-round youth jobs to meet the growing demand for these important programs. I want to thank my fellow Council members for joining me in increasing opportunities for our youth.”
“If we want our city’s youth to be competitive in the workforce, programs like the Summer Youth Employment Program play a vital role,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Ensuring this program is well funded, with a meaningful investment to open as many seats as possible, will yield tremendous dividends in the future. On the job training for our young people is invaluable and will lead to better paying jobs, a heightened sense of professionalism and the self-confidence to excel academically and beyond.”
“The Summer Youth Employment Program is a proven model that ensures our youth have a productive summer and needs to be expanded so more students can take advantage of this opportunity” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “This program also gives the next generation of New Yorkers the experience employers look for when they are ready to enter the workforce, by giving them real experience they cannot receive in a classroom. I am proud to stand here today with my colleagues seeking an expansion of this program and urge the Mayor to include it in the final budget.”
“There is no better investment than the future of our children. SYEP participants get a head start on obtaining the professional skills and support necessary for future success,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I am discouraged by the fact that tens of thousands of youth are turned away because of lack of funding. We can do better. I’m joining my colleagues and calling for a commitment to fully fund universal youth employment by 2019.”
“The Summer Youth Employment Program has proven to be so valuable among my constituents that expanding the program has become a priority of mine throughout every budget cycle. SYEP is an important component for workforce preparation, connecting young people with their communities while providing income and preparing them for successful careers. Last year, more than 60,000 applicants did not receive employment through the program — and I want to see that gap closed this year,” said Council Member Debi Rose.
“The Summer Youth Employment Program is critical to enriching the lives of young people and engaging their minds during the summer months,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “If we are going to close the achievement gap and promote equal opportunity in every neighborhood, we need to increase the number of summer and year round jobs available to every young person.”
“The Mayor could help make New York City families whole in this budget by meeting three major funding needs: youth jobs, summer camps and English literacy. Each is an investment in our neighborhoods and our economy,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “Parents can keep or find a better job knowing their young child has a summer camp seat or that their older child has a secure summer job. If these parents need English literacy, they should be given training by local organizations that are proven to be most effective. Literacy leads to increased employment. The time is now to support our New York City working families.”
IN THE NEWS
Kings County Politics: Bklyn Lawmakers Take Stand For More Summer Youth Jobs