The Bowser Administration recently hosted the 2018 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) Career Fair at Arena Stage. The event was designed to connect youth who have been accepted into MBSYEP with employers across the District. Participating youth had an opportunity to explore a variety of career choices, network with employers and gain information on financial planning. Representatives from private sector companies, community-based organizations and District and federal government agencies were on-hand to support youth and provide career guidance.
“As the District’s signature program, we are always looking to empower and educate our youth on career opportunities through MBSYEP,” said Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden. “As someone who has gone through the program, I know the value and impact MBSYEP has on our youth. I am proud to see the program evolve into a solid foundation that prepares young Washingtonians for the workforce as local employers guide and motivate our youth to career longevity.
MBSYEP is a locally-funded program that provides District youth ages 14 to 24 with high-quality work experiences. MBSYEP 2018 marks the program’s 39th anniversary and the second year since the DC Council permanently expanded the program to include youth up to age 24, allowing young adults access into the workforce that resulted in $1.8 million in wages earned by age 22-24 program youth. Last month, the Bowser Administration launched the DC Talent Leaders initiative – a collective of employers working to expand the number and quality of summer work experiences available to young Washingtonians. Through this initiative, the Department of Employment Services (DOES) is partnering with local, regional and national businesses to prepare and expand a diverse pipeline of young adults for success in the workforce. The initiative supports and fosters unsubsidized internships for District youth while providing them with quality invaluable professional experiences.
“MBSYEP is an integral part of the District and continues to provide our youth with opportunities to learn new skills, enhance their resumes and become financially fit,” said DOES Interim Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “The program is also beneficial for our host employers as they will be able to provide guidance and professional development to participants, investing in the expansion of their company and the future of the city’s workforce.
In 2017, nearly 11,500 young Washingtonians participated in MBSYEP, working more than 1.3 million total hours. MBSYEP has had the greatest impact on the District’s historically overlooked and underserved communities, giving them a fair shot to succeed and gain employment opportunities. Last year, more than 50 percent of participants were Ward 7 or 8 residents, where the unemployment rate and opportunity gap are the highest.
MBSYEP 2018 will begin Monday, June 25, 2018 and will end on Friday, August 3, 2018.