Applications for 2023 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) open for youth and employers

New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Keith Howard announced in February the launch of applications for the 2023 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). This summer will mark the 60th anniversary of the storied program, with New York City once again slated to provide a record 100,000 summer job opportunities for young people ages 14-24.

SYEP applications can be completed online ( or at a participating community-based organization during the application period from Monday, February 13, through April 14, 2023. Applications are also opened for employers who would like to provide work experiences for SYEP participants by becoming a worksite.

The city’s SYEP program, which is the largest in the country, runs for six weeks in July and August. The initiative provides youth with paid opportunities to explore potential career interests and pathways, allowing participants to engage in learning experiences that help develop their professional, social, civic, and leadership skills. SYEP participants are compensated for their work at diverse worksites that include business/finance, fashion, philanthropy, technology, arts/culture, engineering/construction, healthcare, legal services, real estate, transportation, advertising/marketing, hospitality/tourism, media/entertainment, and retail.

SYEP offers workshops on work readiness, career exploration and financial literacy. Financial literacy curriculum equips young people with the tools to build a positive and healthy relationship with money. Through more than four hours of content, youth identify their financial values; learn concepts related to banking, saving, taxation, and investing; and develop practical skills to achieve financial wellness.

Participants aged 14 and 15 receive a stipend for the summer; older youth 16-24 are paid the prevailing minimum wage.

Through SYEP Special Initiatives, equity is at the forefront of recruitment from historically underserved communities. In 2022, more than 13,300 participants were NYCHA residents; and nearly 4,700 young people were part of the SYEP Emerging Leaders Program, which provides specialized experiences for youth who are justice-involved, experiencing homelessness, in foster care, or who have disabilities and attend DOE District 75 schools.

Launching this summer is the inaugural SYEP Pride initiative. SYEP Pride will connect young people who identify as LGBTQ+ with supportive, safe, and affirming work and career exploration experiences. The program will also allow employer partners to offer unique employment and learning opportunities that will support and empower LGBTQ+ youth through the SYEP program.

Studies indicate that SYEP improves school attendance, offers new skills, reduces incarceration rates, and keeps teens and young adults safe—including youth who wouldn’t otherwise have access to paying jobs. Research shows summer jobs save lives, cut crime, and strengthen communities. A 2021 study found that SYEP participation lowers participants’ chances of being arrested that summer by 17 percent and by 23 percent for felony arrests. Other research has found that SYEP youth are significantly less likely to be incarcerated in New York State more than five years after their participation in the program.

Program updates will be posted to DYCD’s social media sites. For more information, call 311 or DYCD Community Connect (1-800-246-4646).

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