Summer Youth Employment Programs 2020: Lessons from the Field

Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEPs) offer short-term, paid opportunities for youth and young adults to gain career exposure, training, and work experience. These programs have been shown to improve participants’ economic, academic, and behavioral outcomes. To understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected SYEPs in 2020, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and CLASP developed a national survey of SYEP local funders and program providers. The survey was distributed in October 2020, in partnership with the National Youth Employment Coalition, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and National League of Cities.

Drawing on responses received from 73 SYEP providers and local public funders, this three-part series is designed to provide policymakers, local systems leaders, and practitioners with insight into how SYEPs responded to the economic and health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.