On Wednesday, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was flanked by multiple local and national philanthropic supporters, business and community stakeholders and teen participants to launch the 2022 Newark Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
The initiative, New Jersey’s largest of its kind, returns to in-person opportunities this year for 3,000 participants aged 14-24 to develop leadership and workplace skills.
Through Newark SYEP, the city’s youth are offered a combination of career exploration, financial empowerment, workplace readiness training, paid work experiences, mentoring and coaching, and year-round touchpoints to reinforce effective career growth behaviors.
The program uses a strong public-private partnership to facilitate such a large number of participants. SYEP was recently spotlighted for its efforts by JP Morgan Chase.
“As a former SYEP participant, I’ve seen the program’s benefits first-hand, and am committed to investing in our youth every chance we can to prepare them to be the future leaders of this city,” said Baraka. “This program levels the playing field and gives our youth access to high-quality opportunities that will make them competitive in our fast-changing economy. SYEP has built the structure we need to make sure our children have the power to realize dreams they would not have been able to achieve without our support. We thank our partners who have committed themselves to backing our youth in this important program.”
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The American Water Charitable Foundation is accepting applications through Sept. 30 for the Workforce Readiness grant program. Click here to learn more.
With a stated goal to increase young people’s success in obtaining gainful employment and breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, the program offers participants an opportunity for learning employment experiences that will provide on-ramps to their future career goals. SYEP runs for six weeks between July and August.
Industries of focus include arts, early childhood development, education, entrepreneurship, environment, IT, marketing, media, music, social justice, advocacy and activism, and STEM.
“Summer jobs are so much greater than just a paycheck. It is our opportunity to infuse work readiness, financial health, and time management into young people’s lives. SYEP is the place where may find their true career path and playing a part in that is rewarding,” said NewarkWORKS Youth Program Director Marsha Armstrong.
“Summer job experiences play an important role in helping young people achieve greater financial stability for themselves and their families,” said Brandee McHale, head of Citi Community Investing and Development and president of the Citi Foundation. “It’s been a privilege of the Citi Foundation to support the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund in its work of connecting young people in Newark with summer jobs that give them the opportunity to develop invaluable workplace and money management skills that will serve them throughout their careers.”