A Public-Private Partnership
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav kicked off the first day of the city’s summer youth employment and learning programs last Thursday, July 5, at a press conference at the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing.
The Summer Youth Experience initiative provides young people with learning and employment opportunities during the summer months and also plays a role in the mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative. There are approximately 31,700 youth participating in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program, Ladders for Leaders, the Young Adult Internship Program, the Young Adult Literacy Program, the Young Men’s Initiative Work Progress Program, and two new programs NYC Summer Quest, and Summer Scholars, a Career and Technical Education summer jobs pilot.
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the Fund for Public Schools launched a fundraising campaign this year to offer expanded opportunities for youth. Over $6 million from more than 80 donors has been raised for this summers’ programs.
As one example, 35 summer youth employees will take on positions at the Queens Botanical Garden as garden greeters, horticulture aides and aides to the children’s garden.
“With many young people now struggling to find employment, opportunities for summer jobs are very welcome,” said Bloomberg. “These programs help working families, keep kids in school, and help students do better on Regents exams and increases graduation rates. We are grateful to the more than 80 corporate and philanthropic sponsors for their support of our City’s young people this summer.”
“I am excited to launch two new Department of Education initiatives, NYC Summer Quest and Career and Technical Education Summer Scholars, that are providing more opportunities for our students-putting them on a path to college and career readiness from elementary school through high school,” said Walcott. “The research is clear that summer learning loss disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable low-income students, which is why it is so important that we continue to support our city’s summer jobs programs and pilot new initiatives such as the ones we are announcing today.”
“I want to thank our private partners for their investment in our young people and the future of our city,” said Mullgrav. “In the short term, these jobs will mean learning new skills and earning extra money for tuition, books and household expenses. But in the long term, this experience in the world of work is just the first step toward a lifetime of success.”
The city manages a number of summer employment programs for young New Yorkers. The largest of these programs is the Summer Youth Employment Program administered by Department of Youth and Community Development.
The program provides residents between the ages of 14 to 24 years old with a seven-week work experience, life skills training and income, and also provides qualified organizations with summer help. Participants are selected through a lottery system and placed by community-based organization partners at local nonprofits and businesses.
In addition, the Ladders for Leaders program, created by the city’s Commission on Women’s Issues and Department of Youth and Community Development, is a seven-week internship program, which educates youth about the importance of obtaining a college degree as a fundamental step towards accomplishing their career goals.
Approximately 250 students participate through a rigorous selection process. This summer, as part of an expansion of a seven-year partnership with the Ladders for Leaders program, Kaplan will provide SAT college preparatory services for up to 1,000 summer jobs program participants.
Both public and private funding has been allocated for the Summer Youth Employment Program including a $20 million city commitment, as well as $13.5 million from the State and $6.1 million from the federal government. In addition, lead supporters include the Walmart Foundation, West Harlem Local Development Corporation and Goldman Sachs.
In recognition of its summer jobs model, New York City was selected as one of seven national Smart Summer programs as part of the Walmart 2012 Summer Youth Employment Initiative led by the Center for Youth and Communities at Brandeis University’s Heller School. For the second consecutive year, the West Harlem Local Development Corporation is supporting Summer Youth Employment Program participants in West Harlem. Goldman Sachs has been committed to the program for the past three years, also providing tours and employee workshops for participants.
Additional supporters for the Summer Youth Employment Program and Ladders for Leaders include American Century Investments Foundation, Avon Foundation, Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide, Berkeley College, Bloomberg LP, Bloomingdales, British American Business Foundation, Brooklyn College, CBS Corporation, Central Park Conservancy, Cornell University, Continuum Health Partners, CUNY College Now, DDB New York, Dow Jones & Company, Empire State Building Observatory LLC, Ernst & Young LLP, The Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Federal Reserve Bank New York, First Republic, The Fresh Air Fund, Friends of the High Line, Gartner, Geller & Company, Gotham Inc., Greater NY Chamber of Commerce, Grey Global Affiliates, Group M, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Hilton Hotels, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Kaplan Inc., KPMG International LLP, Laura Devine Attorneys LLC, Lisa Kabnick and John McFadden, Macy’s, Major League Soccer, Manpower Inc., Catie and Donald Marron, Millward Brown, Neuberger Berman LLC, New Video, New World Foundation, New York Community Bank, New York Municipal Credit Union, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Ogilvy and Mather, NYC & Company, The One Club, Partnership for a Healthier NYC, Quest Magazine, Peter J. Solomon Company, Stillwell Partners, Tai Ping Carpets, Sheryl and Dan Tishman, Tishman Speyer, treasure&bond, UBS, Voxy, Young and Rubicam Brands and Ziff Legal Group.
NYC Digital is also working with the digital start-up community in New York City to provide summer internships and experiences for students and throughout the year. To date, Buddy Media, HUGE, Shapeways, and Facebook have all signed on to support this effort.
In addition to these programs, this summer the city is launching a new employment program geared towards Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school students. The Bank of America Career and Technical Education Summer Scholars program will engage students in innovative activities with the goal of helping improve students’ academic success, introducing them to the ‘world of work’, and help prepare them for postsecondary activities.
Lead support for the Career and Technical Education pilot is being provided by Bank of America and it is also being supported by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) Foundation. NPower is working pro bono to match companies with prospective student interns. In 2012 the pilot will work with 100 Career and Technical Education students focused on the Information Technology industries.
The Department of Education, in collaboration with Department of Youth and Community Development, is also launching NYC Summer Quest, a three-year summer learning pilot to address opportunity gaps that contribute to summer learning loss. Schools working together with community based organizations will provide elementary and middle school students with hands-on learning opportunities including academic support aligned with Common Core Learning Standards; enrichment through the arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math); opportunities to strengthen social/ emotional learning and leadership skills; and physical activity and recreation.
Funders for NYC Summer Quest include Altman Foundation, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Community Trust, New York Life Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Jack Rudin, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Seth Sprague Charitable and Educational Foundation and Spurlino Family Fund.
The city’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) is also supporting youth internship programs this summer including the Young Adult Internship Program for youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and not working and the Young Adult Literacy Program for disconnected New Yorkers ages 17 to 24 who read at pre-GED levels. Both programs operate in partnership with DYCD.
In addition, CEO and the Young Men’s Initiative support the Work Progress Program which provides short-term work opportunities for low-income youth who are participating in non-profit youth development programs. The program operates in partnership with the Human Resources Administration.
Research shows that early work experience is of great benefit to young people for both the short- and long-term. Students who work during high school tend to stay in school and graduate at higher rates. They also are more likely to work after graduation and to earn more. New York University recently completed a study on the effect of summer youth employment on school outcomes and found that it increases school attendance in the following year, as well as the likelihood students will take the Regents exams.
The analysis uses Summer Youth Employment Program data for the summer 2007 program year matched to Department of Education data. The study sample includes 36,630 Summer Youth Employment Program applicants who were in grades 8-11 in NYC public schools during the prior school year. Approximately 90 percent of the sample was eligible for free or reduced price lunch, and about 85 percent were black or Hispanic.
The study shows an increase in school attendance in the following year among those who participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program. The greatest gains were found among participants at greater educational risk, including those with less than 95 percent attendance prior to the program, as well as students age 16 and above who had greater autonomy with regard to their own school attendance decisions.
For these older students, participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program also increased the probability of passing the English and math Regents exams. These findings suggest that beyond providing youth with work experience and income during the summer, employment enhances students’ educational success, by increasing engagement and effort in school after the summer is over.
These efforts are also furthering the call to action and goals of the White House’s 2012 Summer Jobs+ Initiative to provide summer employment opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth.
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and The Fund for Public Schools are nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting public private partnerships throughout the five boroughs. To donate to any of these programs call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.