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ERIC Number: ED555628
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Bridging the Disconnect
González-Rivera, Christian
Center for an Urban Future
New York City is facing a youth employment crisis, with unprecedented numbers of young people reaching adulthood without the skills or experiences to secure career-track jobs that pay a living wage. Since 2000, the percentage of 16 to 24 year olds across the five boroughs participating in the labor market has fallen from 45 percent to 29 percent, while the unemployment rate for this group has spiked from 13 percent to 20 percent. Alarmingly, approximately one out of every five New Yorkers in this age bracket--an estimated 172,000 in all--are neither working nor in school, by far the largest number of any city in the United States. Despite the magnitude of the problem, New York City's youth workforce development system falls far short of what is needed. Youth-focused workforce programs reach only a tiny fraction of the young adults who could benefit from employment and training services. At the same time, too many of the city's existing youth workforce development programs are deeply flawed and do little to help young people build skills and connect with decent-paying jobs. The five workforce programs run by the city's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the city's primary youth workforce agency, served fewer than 41,000 young people last year. DYCD's signature initiative, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), enrolled 35,957 young people in 2013 but had to turn away almost three times that number due to insufficient capacity. Perhaps even more alarming, DYCD's four other workforce programs served fewer than 5,000 youth combined last year. But while the city's youth workforce system could undoubtedly benefit from more resources, it also needs a major restructuring. Indeed, as this report documents, the three city agencies that provide the bulk of youth workforce development services in the city--DYCD, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA)--all have major shortcomings when it comes to helping young New Yorkers gain the education, skills and experiences necessary for career-track employment. The conclusion of this report is that a new level of focus and a new approach is desperately needed to power improvements to the city's youth workforce development system. [Additional research support for this report was provided by Chirag Bhatt, Stephanie Chan, Josefa Silva, Dara Taylor, Xin Wang, Arielle Wiener-Bronner, Barbara Wijering-van Wyck, Christopher Zoia, and Nadia Zonis.]
Center for an Urban Future. 120 Wall Street 20th Floor, New York, NY 10005. Tel: 212-479-3341; Fax: 212-344-6457; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ira W. DeCamp Foundation; Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for an Urban Future
Identifiers - Location: New York