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Mayor Bowser Calls on DC Council to Permanently Expand the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

Friday, January 27, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser called on the DC Council to give more young Washingtonians the opportunity to gain critical job skills by permanently expanding the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. In 2015, Mayor Bowser expanded the program to include DC residents ages 22-24. In 2016, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) received 2,688 applications from young adults ages 22 to 24 – a 6.4 percent increase from 2015. Of the 2,688 applicants, DOES certified over 1,000 young adults to participate in the program. Due to the overwhelming demand for opportunity, Mayor Bowser recently introduced legislation to make the MBSYEP expansion permanent.

“We must ensure that DC’s prosperity is reaching residents in every ward, in every neighborhood. To do this, we need to expand opportunity and ensure more residents have the skills and training they need for the jobs in DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “By permanently expanding MBSYEP, we can give more young Washingtonians the opportunity to gain the skills, work habits and connections needed to compete in our city’s thriving economy.”

MBSYEP is a locally-funded initiative that provides DC youth ages 14 to 24 with six weeks of enriching and constructive summer work experience through subsidized placements in the private and public sectors. The program partners with hundreds of DC employers who are uniquely positioned to provide relevant training and guidance to DC’s youth in order to help them develop the positive work habits and job skills necessary to secure future employment.

In 2016, the same year Forbes named Washington, DC the best U.S. city for summer jobs, 13,016 District youth participated in MBSYEP. Nearly 60 percent of participants came from Wards 7 and 8, where unemployment rates and the opportunity gap are the highest.

As of noon today, DC youth ages 14 to 24 can apply to work and employers can apply to host job sites at summerjobs.dc.gov. The last day for youth to apply is Friday, February 24. MBSYEP 2017 will begin on Monday, June 26, 2017 and will end on Friday, August 4, 2017.