The share of youth aged 16-24 employed during the summer month of July in 2010 was 48.9%, the lowest rate for a summer month since 1948. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

University Settlement Society


Founded in 1886, University Settlement Society is one of New York's most dynamic social service institutions with deep roots on the Lower East Side. Each year University Settlement's diverse programs help over 25,000 low-income and at-risk people build better lives for themselves and their families.

Campaign for Summer Jobs

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United Neighborhood Houses fights for Summer Jobs for young people.

Campaign for Summer JobsThrough the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), New York businesses and nonprofits provide jobs for thousands of teens each year, occupations like serving as a camp counselor or working in a professional office, retail job or as a museum docent.

Through the Campaign for Summer Jobs, United Neighborhood Houses, along with our co-chair, Neighborhood Family Services Coalition, advocates for funding for SYEP and at the same time provides leadership opportunities for young people.

In 2015, UNH celebrated a huge success with the inclusion of 50,000 SYEP jobs in the City's budget proposal; the highest number of jobs since 2009 when funding for SYEP was bolstered by the President's stimulus plan. While this still will not meet demand for a program, it represents the halfway mark in our five year effort to make sure 100,000 summer jobs are available.

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Summer Jobs for NYC's Youth

For over a decade, the Campaign has been successful in building support for tens of thousands of summer jobs. With teen unemployment at an all time high, the Campaign for Summer Jobs becomes even more important today. Budget cuts have reduced SYEP jobs to its lowest level in eleven years.

In New York City, there are over one million youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who are eligible for the Summer Youth Employment Program. The Campaign's goal is to see that every youth who wants a summer job can obtain one. While government funding made it possible for nearly 28,000 young people in New York City to have a summer job in 2011, a record number of approximately 131,000 youth applied.

Wisdom from a few of our Youth Advocates:

"I can help my family, and save money for college." Michael, 13

"…Giving us responsibility is important, and sends the message that life is not just in the street. We need to do something productive and positive." Kimani, 17

"Jobs not only teach useful skills, but how to be responsible with money. This summer, I learned how to open my own checking and savings account. Now, I can save for the future." Tymell, 16

Read about the experiences of two SYEP participants here.

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