NEW YORK — Thousands of teens and young adults looking for summer jobs in New York City may be out out luck.
Amid ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Youth Employment Program, which employs 75,000 people age 14-24, has been suspended.
"Unfortunately, the uncertainty over how COVID-19 will continue to affect social distancing guidelines, worksite availability, and provider and site staffing as we head into late spring and summer makes it difficult to ensure that SYEP can be operated safely and efficiently," a notification on the SYEP website reads.
Debi Rose, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Youth Services, called the news "devastating to the many families who rely on these programs for their children, programs that in many cases provide an economic safety net for these families."
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio's office about the program last Thursday. He stressed the importance of the program.
"In fact, it is even more vital now to preserve the employment and educational opportunities available - the immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis has relied on restrictions, and rightly so, but as I laid out in my recent report, the long-term recovery will rely on expansion of programs we know can work, and the SYEP has proven each year to be one of the most vital programs for young people in our city," he said Tuesday.