Businesses join city agencies to provide internships for NYC youth

blogimage_InternshipsSummer employment options have just expanded for high school and college students in New York City. New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray recently announced that 126 companies, in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund’s NYC Center for Youth Employment, will host 500 students in paid internships this summer, or help sponsor those opportunities. First Lady McCray stated, “We need to bring business, government, and non-profits together to develop talent and channel it to our 21st century workplaces,” reports a recent article in Real Estate Weekly.

City agencies and industry stakeholders from real estate, hospitality, business services, media and entertainment, and fashion industries will work together to address private-sector workforce needs through the Center for Youth Employment’s NYC Ladders for Leaders program. Ladders for Leaders is a nationally recognized program that offers high school and college students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies in New York City. It began in 2006 as two pilot programs, CAPITAL and GirlsReach, and filled over a thousand positions last summer at business, government, and non-profit worksites, according to its 2015 Annual Summary.

“We need to bring business, government, and non-profits together to develop talent and channel it to our 21st century workplaces.”

A hundred of these internships are expected to be in the real estate industry — The Mayor’s Fund is already working with the Real Estate Board of New York to identify employers and 12 firms have already signed on. Partnerships with 22 fashion companies, with specializations including fashion and jewelry design, public relations, and manufacturing, were announced in March, in the form of public-private partnership NYC Fashion Forward. This partnership is backed by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Both businesses and participating students benefit from this intersector approach to summer internships. Businesses are connected to talented high achieving students. Participants learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette in 30 hours of pre-employment training and make connections in fields they’re interested in pursuing professionally. And some students gain regular employment through the program — The 2015 Annual Summary reports that 35% of youth received an offer to continue employment at the end of the program. After her summer internship, one of last year’s participants said, “I feel a lot closer to my future now.”