(NEWARK, NJ) — On July 6, Mayor Ras J. Baraka joined several local and national philanthropic supporters, representatives from the business and academic community, and teen program participants to launch the 2022 Newark Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
Newark SYEP offers the city’s youth a combination of career exploration, financial empowerment, work readiness training, paid work experiences, mentoring and coaching, and lifelong touchpoints. the year that consistently reinforce effective career growth behaviors – leveling the playing field between Newarkers and their suburban peers. Mayor Baraka’s leadership in building a strong public-private partnership that combines city, state and private sector funding is enabling the City of Newark to enroll 3,000 youth, tripling before its taking office, making it the largest such program in the state of New Jersey. Newark SYEP has garnered repeated national attention as a model program from the White House to, most recently, JP Morgan Chase, which spotlighted Newark in a nationwide $20 million investment in summer employment programs for young people nationwide in May.
“As a former SYEP participant, I have seen the benefits of the program firsthand and am committed to investing in our young people every possible chance to prepare them to become the future leaders of this city,” said Mayor Baraka. “This program levels the playing field and gives our youth access to high quality opportunities that will make them competitive in our rapidly changing economy. SYEP has built the structure we need to ensure 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 to supporting our young people in this important program.
The overall intended impact of SYEP is to increase young people’s ability to gain gainful employment and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, enabling their families to become financially stable and their communities to build wealth. For six weeks between July and August, up to 3,000 Newarkans between the ages of 14 and 24 are offered an opportunity for learning and work experiences that will help them achieve their future career goals. Our multi-faceted approach helps participants identify their strengths and assets, learn about different career paths, and make informed, personalized decisions on their path to success in today’s job market.
The only city in New Jersey to continue strong programming through a hybrid Learn and Earn model during the COVID-19 pandemic, Newark will return to in-person employment opportunities for youth this year. Targeted industries include: the arts; Early Childhood Development; Education; entrepreneurship; Environment; THIS; Marketing; Media; Music; social justice, advocacy and activism; and STEM. In addition to the educational component of the program, the Newark SYEP team has partnered to deliver comprehensive resources directly to families and ensure youth have the technology and nutrition needed to succeed.
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A growing body of research shows the benefits of youth employment programs in meeting future labor force needs, closing the apparent “skills gap”, increasing educational attainment and improving labor market outcomes. health and safety, while providing young people and their families with the income they need, and strengthening Newark’s economy. As the City of Newark continues to focus on building a safe and healthy community this summer through the Mayor’s Back Together Again initiative, SYEP is providing an essential lifeline for young people to learn, earn money and access opportunities that otherwise would not be available.
“Summer jobs are so much more than just a paycheck. It’s our opportunity to infuse work readiness, financial health, and time management into the lives of young people. SYEP is where many find their true career path and playing a part in it is rewarding,” said Marsha Armstrong, Youth Program Director, NewarkWORKS.
The Newark Youth Summer Employment Program is a collective effort with the commitment of many philanthropic supporters. Grant funding partners that make this program possible include AT&T; Bank of America; Capital 1; Cities Fund for Financial Empowerment; Citi Foundation; Edison Properties Newark Foundation; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey through its charitable arm, the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey; JPMorgan Chase; M&T Bank; the Maher Charitable Foundation; the MCJ Amélior Foundation; the Prudential Foundation; the PSEG Foundation; Health RWJ Barnabas; Santander; New Jersey State Department of Labor and Workforce Development; the TD Charitable Foundation; Victoria Foundation; Wells Fargo; amounting to nearly $2.5 million.
“Summer job experiences play an important role in helping young people achieve greater financial stability for themselves and their families,” said Brandee McHale, Citi’s chief community investment and development officer. and President of the Citi Foundation. “It has been a privilege for the Citi Foundation to support the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund in its work connecting young people in Newark with summer jobs that give them the opportunity to develop invaluable work skills and financial management skills that will serve them well throughout their careers.”
Newark SYEP has nearly 100 program partners from the academic and business communities, nonprofits, and city government departments. These include Project Gem, Exponentially Well Institute, Student Dream, OppNet Summer Science Research Program, United Parks as One, City Planning Institute at Westside High School, Jersey Cares, Yendor Murals, Children’s Hospital of New Jersey in Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark Police Explorers, Essex County College Pre-College Readiness, Seton Hall, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University – Newark, Abbott Leadership Institute, Schools that Can, Newark Emergency Services for Families, Newark Makerhoods, Level Fields Consulting, Programs for Parents, Panasonic, SHE Wins, Inc., NJ Health Care Employers – District 1199J, the Clubhouse, Greater Newark Conservancy and several city departments, among others.