The employment pillar of the Mayor's Youth Opportunity Initiative focuses on getting more Seattle youth engaged in meaningful employment opportunities. Many young people miss out on the chance to work during their teen years, especially low-income youth. This can result in academic disengagement, lack of career awareness and planning, and poor preparedness for available careers. While citywide unemployment is at a low 3 percent, youth unemployment remains near 13 percent, and is more than double that rate for African American youth.

2017 Summer of Opportunity Priorities

  • Expand access to summer employment for youth by placing 3,500 in jobs
  • Focus on recruiting, preparing and placing youth of color

Key Programs

Seattle Youth Employment Program

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides internship opportunities aimed at meeting the employment needs of underserved youth and young adults in our community. By promoting work readiness and strengthening career development, SYEP helps to prepare and support youth for real world jobs by providing them with the skills necessary to be competitive in the job market.

Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative

Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative (MYEI) embodies an ongoing commitment to prepare Seattle youth for meaningful and successful careers. The initiative builds career pathways for young people through paid internships in City departments and through positions filled or funded by local business and nonprofit partners.

Seattle Public Library Student Assistant Program

The Student Assistant Program is an exciting opportunity for teens and young adults to gain job experience, develop new skills, and work with a diverse group of people at the Seattle Public Library. While attending school, Student Assistants work between 12 and 15 hours per week at the Central Library or one of 26 Library branch locations.

Summer of Service (SOS)

The SOS program is for students entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade in Fall 2017. The SOS program helps young people make a difference in their community while gaining leadership and work skills. Participants will collaborate on a team-based project and learn about the natural environment.

Student Teen Employment Preparation Program (STEP)

STEP is a project-based job readiness program that has teams of high school students ages 14-19 addressing a community need. STEP incorporates activities and training focused on job readiness soft skills, life skills, and leadership.

Youth Engaged In Service (YES)

YES is a job readiness and leadership development program for youth ages 13-18. YES connects youth to a broad range of service and training opportunities to prepare for the working world. Youth will be placed with an adult mentor at a Parks and Recreation site such as a park or community center, where they can earn service hours for high school graduation requirements and receive a stipend of $150.