SYEP in 2021: Lessons For a Changing World
By Noel Tieszen
Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEPs) represent the largest investment that many U.S. cities make in youth workforce development. When COVID-19 began its first sweep across the country in early 2020, SYEPs scrambled to meet unexpected challenges with remarkable innovation.
With that experience of sudden change behind them, what lessons did SYEPs bring into 2021? What new challenges did they face? What should funders, policymakers, and providers consider as we approach another uncertain summer in 2022?
While we await more comprehensive research, this document summarizes key themes that emerged from interviews with SYEP funders, program providers, and youth participants in Albany, Denver, Louisville, Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando.