With the current COVID-19 crisis cancelling many events, many summer youth employment programs (SYEP) have also been scrapped. This toolkit is a list of digital resources, practices, and tools as the opportunity network moves to more digital/virtual SYEP offerings.
Across the country, summer youth employment programs (SYEP) serve an important function in preparing youth and young adults in low-income communities for careers. These programs, which traditionally have offered workplace readiness preparation, career exploration, and subsidized job placements with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector employers, improve economic, academic, and behavioral outcomes for young people.
Summer youth employment programs are more important this summer than ever. At a time when many opportunity youth (OY) may have experienced loss of connection to school, youth programs, or work for several months, SYEP can provide a connection to important relationships with caring adults, and often serve as a bridge to postsecondary and other career pathway opportunities and an opportunity to gain noncognitive skills highly valued in the workplace. These relationships and connections are critical to ensuring young people can access mental health and other supportive services, all of which may be of critical need during the current crisis.
The Aspen Institute created the 1.0 Digital Summer Youth Employment Toolkit to share resources and practices.