Flatbush Councilman Calls For A Job For Every Local Teen

Flatbush Councilman Calls For A Job For Every Local Teen
Councilman Jumaane Williams emceed Bichotte's inauguration.
Council Member Jumaane Williams (Photo: Ditmas Park Corner)

Teen employment in New York City has never recovered since the Great Recession.

New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, whose district includes Flatbush, East Flatbush and other areas in Central Brooklyn, proposed today that the de Blasio administration fund a summer internship program that would provide a minimum wage job to every teenager who applies, Crain’s reported.

“The worth that they feel when they get a check, there’s nothing that can compare to that,” Williams reportedly said. “The worth of saying I went to work, I worked and I got a check.”

Williams was joined by the Community Service Society in his call on the City to do more for unemployed youth.

The unemployment rate for 16 to 21-year-olds in New York City rose to 30 percent (from 18 percent) during the last recession. Youth unemployment still remains about 29 percent, Crain’s says.

In 2014, we reported on 12 young people working at CAMBA’s food pantry over the summer, doing everything from helping to tend plants in the pantry’s hydroponic garden, to organizing the food at the pantry that served about 4,300 families a month.

Taylor Woods, 21, of Canarsie, told us she had been looking for work for about six months before being accepted to the summer program.

“People my age – 19, 20, 21 – it’s hard because employers want people with experience, and people my age don’t have experience,” Woods said. “This program give us experience, and it prepares you for the real world. I’m hoping to become a health inspector, so working at the pantry will give me real world experience in my field.”

In 2015, over 110,000 young people in New York City sought jobs through the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program but half of them were turned away, reported the Community Service Society.

The CSS has just released a report outlining how a City-run, paid summer internship program could be rolled out. The initiative would “essentially consist of an optional additional seven weeks of programming for all high school students,” the CSS said.

The internship program would build upon and expand the City’s existing youth employment program.

Community based organizations would assist in creating the internships, and would receive contracts from the City funding them to serve all the young people at a specific school.

Approximately 100,000 program slots would need to be created for a citywide internship program for young people, the CSS said.


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