Employers step up with opportunities for Seattle’s youth

Today, Mayor Ed Murray celebrates the start day of the Summer 2017 Internship season by thanking new corporate partners and City departments that are supporting the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative (MYEI). Support for the initiative ranges from hosting interns to contributing funds to support wages for youth placed at other organizations. To date, more than $500,000 has been raised to support interns’ wages, transportation, and other support, in addition to employers who host and pay the interns directly.

Meet some of this summer’s interns:

This year’s partners include: Anchor QEA, Artefact Group, AT&T, C+C, Comcast, Downtown Seattle Association, Evergreens, Foster Pepper PLLC, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Swedish, Harborview Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, King County International Airport/Boeing Field, Launch, Novo Nordisk, Pacifica Law Group, Point B Inc., Port of Seattle, Tom Douglas Restaurants, Uber and Waldron.

“As we work to ensure that all Seattle youth are prepared to thrive in tomorrow’s economy, one of the most important experiences a young person can have is on-the-job training and connections to a professional network,” said Mayor Murray. “In a city with so much economic growth and opportunity, we can’t leave Seattle’s young people behind, particularly youth of color. By providing opportunities to Seattle’s youth, employers are changing lives. I want to thank those who have stepped forward and challenge more companies and organizations to get involved.”

Building on decades of success of the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), in 2015 Mayor Murray launched the MYEI, which connects Seattle youth ages 14-24 with paid internships and employment opportunities. Seattle youth ages 16-19 have an unemployment rate around 21 percent, while unemployment for youth ages 20-24 hovers around 10 percent, far above the overall city rate of 2.9 percent. As a result, Seattle youth are missing out on vital work experience and income, which hurts lifetime earnings.

“JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping communities make a long-term investment in increasing the number of available summer jobs and turning those jobs into employment opportunities down the road,” said Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase, Pacific Northwest. “We feel our support of the Summer Youth Employment Program is an important way we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy. Young people are facing an employment crisis—too many cannot find summer jobs and, as a result, they’re missing out on a critical opportunity to be personally and professionally successful in the future.”

“We are excited to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative this summer,” said Point B Inc. Managing Director for People Jill Going. “For Point B, we embrace any opportunity to meet the future talent pool of Seattle, expose them to a career in consulting, and inspire them to be their best. We also recognize the strategic nature of this initiative as one way to help solve the growing workforce needs in our booming economy. By building a pipeline between the emerging workforce and local businesses, we are planting seeds for future employment. By providing an opportunity to work, students get inspired, build goals and hopefully channel their education into skills that our city needs.”

The need for summer employment opportunities continues to grow. In 2015, the initiative connected more than 2,000 youth with life-changing internship opportunities. The City enlisted Educurious in 2016 to include the private sector in the solution and saw a 74 percent increase in the number of positions filled, totaling 3,484. This year, as the initiative continues to grow, we are strengthening our partnerships with the community, including Seattle Public Schools, Juma Ventures, YouthCare, and YouthForce.

Earlier this year, Mayor Murray announced a new directive extending participation in MYEI to all City departments.

To learn more and register your organization to participate in the initiative, visit murray.seattle.gov/youthjobs.


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