Workforce Training and Employment for Teens and Young Adults

By Gelena Blishteyn
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After receiving initial news in April that the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) was fully eliminated from the NYC budget, Marks JCH immediately began advocating for workforce services and job placement opportunities, which we have been providing teens and young adult for nearly a decade. Many of our families have come to expect and count on the infusion of family income that the SYEP provides. Through ongoing community advocacy, NYC partially restored SYEP, now knows as the SYEP-Summer Bridge program, allowing Marks JCH to provide over 300 youth ages 16-21 with a virtual workforce learning program for over 5 weeks during the summer. In addition, through the incredible support of our partners at Robin Hood and UJA Federation of NY, we are able to train, match and place an additional 150 young adults (16-24 years old) in job placements at the Marks JCH summer program, other local nonprofits and social service providers, as local businesses of all sizes.  Participants are completing 6-8 weeks of employment with onsite supervision and mentoring and will receive stipends at the conclusion of their placement period. For teens and young adults facing dramatic academic and social losses and uncertainty in their plans for the fall, these initiatives have become a lifeline, providing professional experience and, most significantly, solace in a welcoming and nurturing community.

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