New York City cuts summer youth jobs program

Then-New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito visits students for the first day of the Summer Youth Employment Program in 2014.
Then-New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito visits students for the first day of the Summer Youth Employment Program in 2014.
William Alatriste / New York City Council
Then-New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito visits students for the first day of the Summer Youth Employment Program in 2014.

New York City cuts summer youth jobs program

Nonprofits operating the programs had already been hiring staff and preparing for the initiative.
April 8, 2020

New York City’s program, which provides 75,000 summer jobs to youths, will not take place this year. City officials told providers on Tuesday that the COVID-19 outbreak has created too much financial insecurity and logistical uncertainty for the city to move forward with the program. 

Community-based organizations that have connected youths to these city-funded jobs have been fearing this outcome. The six-week program, which cost $164 million to run last year, offers people between the ages of 14 and 24 years old paid jobs in the public and private sectors during the summer.

“The uncertainty over how COVID-19 will continue to affect social distancing guidelines, worksite availability, and provider and site staffing as we head into late spring and summer makes it difficult to ensure that (the Summer Youth Employment Program) can be operated safely and efficiently,” Bill Chong, commissioner of the city Department of Youth and Community Development, wrote in an email to providers. 

Nonprofits will not be reimbursed for purchases related to the program after April 8. 

“The fact that the email came today with the additional information that funding wouldn’t be reimbursed starting tomorrow is completely inadequate for providers that need to ramp down programs,” J.T. Falcone, a policy analyst at the advocacy organization United Neighborhood Houses, told NYN Media on Tuesday. The timeline creates organizational challenges for providers, most of whom have already been staffing for the program and accepting program applications, he said. 

There are indications that officials are working on contingency plans to make some of these jobs available virtually, according to the Daily News article. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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