In May 2015, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City launched the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), as it was then known, in response to a recommendation from a 2014 report of the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force that called for a significant expansion of work-based learning activities for young New Yorkers. At the time of its launch, CYE's main objective was to support an expansion of program slots across all youth workforce programs to 100,000 or more per year by 2020, up from about 62,000 as of 2015.
CYE initially focused on growing several initiatives within the Summer Youth Employment Program, including Ladders for Leaders (professional, competitive internships for high-achieving students) and Vulnerable Youth (guaranteed slots for young New Yorkers in foster care, homeless shelters or the juvenile justice system). It also began to explore how to more closely connect the world of work with classroom learning, developing the CareerCLUE (Community Learning, Understanding, and Experience) model as a pilot with a number of DOE high schools. After Mayor de Blasio and City Council agreed to baseline funding for SYEP as part of the FY2017 budget in June 2016, CYE joined the Youth Employment Task Force that was charged with articulating a clear mission and operational recommendations for SYEP. CYE played a major role in shaping the report of the Task Force, which asserted that connections between school and work were vital and that SYEP, and all youth employment programs, should work toward preparing participants for career success.
By 2018, New York City had easily surpassed the goal of 100,000 program slots per year in youth workforce programs. The Mayor's Fund supported the Center's transfer into the Mayor's Office of Strategic Policy Initiatives under Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson. Over the following year and a half, CYE completed the CareerReady NYC project, staffed the Disconnected Youth Task Force, and spearheaded other initiatives such as Civil Service Pathways, CareerReady Work Learn & Grow, and Exploring Futures. After COVID-19 struck in 2020, the Center worked closely with its partners to adjust programming for new conditions, including SYEP Summer Bridge--a fully remote summer experience featuring career exploration and project-based learning opportunities. In 2021, a mayoral executive order converted CYE into the Mayor's Office of Youth Employment (MOYE).