SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County have announced a partnership with CNY Works and On Point for College, developing a state-funded summer youth employment program for students.
The program will provide students ages 14-20 with jobs and experience through local businesses. It will span six weeks through July and August, totaling 25 hours per week. These positions can be on-site, remote or a hybrid of both. Payment will start at $14.20 hourly, the current New York state minimum wage, with an option to go $15 or higher at the businesses’ discretion.
As an incentive for participating businesses, all payroll and additional costs will be funded by the city and county. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says this deal is a “win-win situation.”
“Summer jobs are good for youth now and long into the future,” Walsh said. “They give young people valuable experience that can make them more employable and help them decide what they do — or don’t — want to do with their lives.”
In previous years, the organizations were able to help youth find employment, both in temporary seasonal positions and in their field of interest.
Abraham Haley, a recent SUNY Brockport graduate, achieved his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and credits his complete resume to OnPoint and their resources to help him succeed.
“They’re there to help you, they want to help you,” Haley said. “You’ve got to make the effort to see that you want the help and you kind of want to pursue a career. Because no one can help you unless you want the help.”
Haley’s story is one of many that have happened and can happen through the partnership and summer employment, especially in a city with so many high school and college students.
Current SUNY ESF student Angie Gugino commented that a more streamlined hiring process and previous insight on finding employment would be beneficial to students who are completing their education.
“I think it could definitely maybe offer some more clarity and reassurance as they are graduating,” Gugino said. “Because I know it can be a pretty intimidating time in someone’s life when they are graduating.”
To continue the success of the program, Walsh calls on businesses to accept prospective youth in their job searches both to give them working experience and get seasonal staff for the summer months.
“If you have the capacity and the ability to bring young people into your workplace and give them valuable experiences this summer, we are willing to pay for that opportunity,” Walsh said. “It’s no charge to you, we just look for you to open your doors with open arms and be part of the solution.”
Employers can participate in this summer initiative by completing the Employer Worksite Application at cnyworks.com.