2009-05-15 / Top Stories

City, State Stimulus Money Set For Youth Internships, Jobs

City and state officials have announced that New York City will use $29.02 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support 17,378 slots for summer youth employment programs, summer internships, and similar programs.

The bulk of the funds- $18.5 million- will enhance the New York City Summer Youth Employment Program, a seven-week jobs program for New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24.

This will provide jobs for a total of more than 51,000 young people in New York City's Summer Youth Employment Program - 8,000 more than in 2008

"Unemployment among youth has far reaching consequences across society - from substance abuse to teen pregnancy to increased crime in our communities," said Governor Paterson. "This makes finding employment for youth at this moment all the more critical, especially in light of the fact that jobs traditionally filled by youth are being filled by adults adversely affected by today's economy. With this infusion of federal funding, tens of thousands of youth will have their lives changed for the better. More importantly, they will be spending their paychecks in communities sorely in need of an infusion."

The New York City Summer Youth Employment Program is a stand-alone seven-week jobs program. Last summer, the Department of Youth and Community Development received 103,000 applications and enrolled more than 43,000 participants in the program - the most since the summer of 2001. Summer Youth Employment Program participants were employed at 6,550 worksites that were developed by 56 community-based providers throughout the five boroughs. The receipt of stimulus funds has allowed the Department of Youth and Community Development to extend the pool of participants up to age 24, where it previously was 21. Participants, who earn the minimum wage, work in local small businesses, cultural institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, child care facilities, libraries, and hospitals. They receive education and training on topics that include work-readiness, post-secondary education, career exploration, financial literacy, and health awareness. The deadline to submit a summer youth employment application is May 15, 2009. Information is available at www.nyc.gov or by calling 311.

"I am greatly pleased with the nearly $100 million in federal funding for the New York Summer Youth Employment Program. The 75,000 jobs we expect will be created for disadvantaged youth across the state of New York will go a long way toward securing the future of our greatest asset, our young people," said Congressman Gregory Meeks. "I believe that this program is a tremendous outreach initiative for at-risk youth who will have the opportunity to obtain paid summer employment that will teach them the necessary job and life skills to excel in future employment. This program is essential with the rate of unemployment and crime amongst youth in New York continuously increasing. I am confident that with this newly added funding the Summer Youth Employment Program will reach new heights and provide our youth with a life-changing experience."

"I'm gratified that a long underfunded program will get a boost," said Representative Anthony Weiner. "Arming young people with job skills and real work opportunities is a smart way to stimulate our local economy." "Creating jobs for all residents of the State is crucial during these tough economic times," said Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith. "I am pleased that funding has been secured to provide the youngest among New York's workforce with the confidence and the skills that will allow them to be the productive citizens they desire to be. This program not only stimulates the economy but the minds and abilities of our youth."

"This federal funding, combined with state resources aimed at helping our young people find jobs, will help to ensure that our youth are provided with valuable opportunities to enter the labor force and develop career skills that will serve them well throughout their lives," said Senate Labor Committee Chairman George Onorato. "By wisely investing in youth employment programs, we are helping to provide a brighter future for both the young people themselves and our economy as a whole."

"I applaud Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, and Commissioner Mullgrav for their strong support of the Summer Youth Employment Program. The expansion of NYC's Summer Youth Employment Program (with the use of federal stimulus funds) will ensure that during this economic decline, 8,000 more young people can find meaningful employment this summer," said Assemblyman William Scarborough. "As chairman of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, I will continue to work with my partners within state and local government to find more ways in providing support and valuable employment opportunities for our youth."

"The lack of employment opportunities for youth was a growing problem before the current economic crisis and now is only getting worse. By teaching job skills and providing real world experience, youth employment programs are critical to helping our city's emerging workforce succeed," said New York City Employment Training Coalition Executive Director Tim Ford. "New York City has been the national leader in developing a vibrant summer youth employment program and with the new federal support we are confident this year's program will be a success. We recognize DYCD for their leadership and the over 50 community-based organizations who will manage the program in all five boroughs. We also thank the dedicated employers from all over the city who are willing to open their doors and in return create opportunity for tens of thousands of young adults."

To maintain accountability and transparency in the City's use of stimulus funding, all such funding allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at www.nyc.gov/stimulustracker. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars can be tracked from initial allocation through project completion. In addition, the public can track key performance measures - such as jobs created - showing how these projects and programs benefit the City.

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