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An Introduction to the World of Work: A Study of the Implementation and Impacts of New York City's Summer Youth Employment Program

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Date Published

This report examines the impacts of the New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program on young people’s education, employment, and earnings, using an experimental design that relied on the program’s randomized lottery application system.


This report provides details of an impact analysis of New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The study’s implementation analysis relied on data collected in 2015 from interviews with DYCD staff members, a survey of and interviews with provider staff members, focus groups and interviews with program participants, and interviews with people who applied to SYEP but did not participate. Those data provide insights into how SYEP works on the ground and the factors that influence its implementation and participants’ experiences. The second component of the evaluation focused on estimating the impacts of the SYEP program on the lives of participants, taking advantage of DYCD’s randomized admission lotteries to conduct an experimental analysis. The analysis relied on three sets of outcomes, to determine program impacts: employment and earnings during the summer following the initial application; employment and earnings on the following five years; and educational outcomes, such as high school attendance and completion, as well as college enrollment and graduation. Results indicated that SYEP had large impacts on youth’s employment and earnings during the summer for which they applied, although they also demonstrated tension between the program’s short- and long-term goals.

Date Published: January 1, 2017