Young Adult Internship Program

The Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) provides short-term paid internships, placements into jobs, education or advanced training, and follow-up services to young adults who are not in school and are not working.

Problem Statement
There are approximately 165,000 young people ages 16-24 in NYC who are not in school, not working, and not looking for work. These disconnected young adults are increasingly at risk for long-term economic hardship as they miss opportunities to become members of a workforce that is increasingly educated and skilled. In New York City, African Americans and Latinos have much higher disconnection rates than Non-Hispanic Whites and Asians. This difference is most pronounced among males, where African American (16.6%) and Hispanic males (16%) have substantially higher disconnection rates than white males (7.6%).

Research & Evidence
National research shows that early work experience during the teenage years leads to positive labor market outcomes for youth, especially for those who do not enroll in four-year colleges and universities immediately after leaving high school. Young adults who obtain more work experience during these years have smoother transitions to the labor market and higher beginning wages as well as higher earnings 10 to 15 years after leaving high school.

The models for YAIP are the Department of Youth and Community Development's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and Out-of-School Youth (OSY) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs. These programs offer employment preparation, educational services, and support services while teaching life skills and work readiness skills. Like SYEP, YAIP offers participants time-limited, publicly subsidized internships and educational services to support participants in the workplace. YAIP has a similar target population to OSY, individual service strategy, and provides follow-up services.

Program Description
Many disengaged young people already possess the basic skills needed to enter the labor market and may need only a short-term intervention to connect to sustainable employment, educational, or training opportunities. Recent research suggests that about half of the disconnected 16-24 year-olds in NYC have either a high school or GED diploma, though a good number also struggle with weak literacy and numeracy skills. YAIP providers serve young people with a range of educational abilities, but given the short duration of the intervention tend to work with more job-ready young people.

YAIP offers a 10-12 week paid internship and an additional nine months of follow up placement assistance in jobs or educational programs. Participants are paid $8 per hour for time spent in orientation, workshops, and internships and can earn up to approximately $2,500 while in the program.

PHASE I: Orientation period [25 hrs/week], including assessment of employability skills and social support needs, development of an Individual Service Strategy (ISS), pre-internship work-readiness training, and supportive counseling. (2-4 weeks)

PHASE II: Paid internship [20 hrs/week] plus paid educational workshops [5 hrs/wk]. Providers develop internship opportunities across a broad spectrum of industries and interest areas, and 40% of placements are in the private sector. Workshops address topics like financial literacy, the world of work, career exploration, educational opportunities, and healthy living. (10-12 weeks)

PHASE III: Placement in education, advanced training, or employment. Follow-up services to sustain engagement and retention. (9 months)

Evaluation Framework
Program data are being analyzed to determine the relationship between participant characteristics and post-internship placement and 9-month retention outcomes.

Target Population
The program serves young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not in school and not working. Participants must be reading at a minimum of a sixth grade level. At least 80% of participants must reside in one of the following community districts:

  • Bronx: Mott Haven and Morrisania (B1 and B3), Hunts Point/Longwood (B2), Highbridge/Concourse (B4), University Heights/Fordham (B5), East Tremont/Belmont (B6)
  • Brooklyn: Williamsburg/Greenpoint (K1), Bedford-Stuyvesant (K3), Bushwick (K4), East New York (K5), Brownsville (K16)
  • Manhattan: Lower East Side/Chinatown (M3), Central Harlem (M10), East Harlem (M11), Washington Heights/Inwood (M12)
  • Queens: Astoria/Long Island City (Q1), Jackson Heights (Q3), Elmhurst/Corona (Q4), Flushing (Q7), Jamaica (Q12)
  • Staten Island: St. George (S1)

Expected Outcomes

  • Internship placement for all participants who complete orientation
  • Completion of internship by 75% of enrollees
  • Placement of at least 70% of enrollees in post-internship employment or enrollment in education, skills training, or GED program
  • Retention of at least 60% of enrollees in an approved placement during the 3rd quarter after program completion



Agency: Department of Youth & Community Development
  Start Date: November 2007  
  CEO FY12 Budget: $10,541,000  
Program Type: Youth, Workforce Development, Retention
  Number of New Enrollees: 1,740  
Number Completed Internship: 1,444
  Number Placed in Education/Employment: 771  
  Number Retained in Education/Employment after 9 Months: 285  
Workforce Evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program: An Analysis of Participant Data, 2009 (in PDF)  
Westat/Metis Early Implementation Report, 2008 (in PDF)