The YAIP provided internships and work-related services to young adults who were not working or in school in order to encourage work.

The YAIP provided internships and work-related services to young adults who were not working or in school in order to encourage work.

The YAIP offered work-readiness workshops; internships; educational workshops; case management; supportive services; and assistance finding work, educational, or military placements to youth who were not working or in school. Youth participated for about 20 hours per week in the work-readiness workshops and internships and were paid subsidized minimum wages. The work-readiness workshops lasted 2 to 4 weeks; internships lasted 10 to 12 weeks; and follow-up services were available for 9 months after the internship ended. The YAIP served young adults ages 16 to 24 who were not working or in school; it also excluded youth who had recently dropped out of or completed high school, had reading skills below the sixth-grade level, or had a postsecondary degree. The program was implemented in 13 locations across New York City. 

Year evaluation began: 2013
Populations and employment barriers: Young adults (aged 16-24)
Intervention services: Case management, Employment retention services, Supportive services, Financial education, Soft skills training, Subsidized employment, Work experience, Work readiness activities, Job search assistance, Job development/job placement
Setting(s): Urban only

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

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Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term Supported favorable $1,464 per year 0.07 2678
Long-term Little evidence to assess support favorable $523 per year 0.03 2678
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Supported favorable 8% (in percentage points) 0.20 2678
Long-term Supported favorable 3% (in percentage points) 0.07 2678
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term No evidence to assess support
Long-term No evidence to assess support
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Little evidence to assess support favorable 1% (in percentage points) 0.03 2678

Implementation Details

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Dates covered by study

Researchers enrolled 3 cohorts of individuals in the study every 4 months from July 2013 to March 2014 and followed them for 30 months thereafter.

Organizations implementing intervention

The New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development oversaw the program. The study included services provided by 12 organizations in 13 locations, including nonprofits, community-based organizations, a faith-based organization, a construction company, community centers, and a community college.

Populations served

The YAIP served young adults ages 16 to 24 who were not working or in school. It excluded youth who had recently dropped out of or completed high school, had reading skills below the sixth-grade level, or had a postsecondary degree. The majority of participants were Black or Hispanic (94 percent), and about half were female. One-third did not have a high school diploma or GED, and one-quarter were involved with the justice system. At least 80 percent of enrolled participants were expected to come from high-need community districts, selected based on high poverty rates and numbers of disconnected youth. Participation in the program was voluntary.

Description of services implemented

The YAIP offered three sequential phases:

  • Orientation included work-readiness workshops that prepared participants for internships by strengthening career planning and interviewing skills, soft skills such as time management, and life skills such as financial education. The workshops also allowed staff to identify appropriate internship placements for participants. Workshops could take place in a variety of work sites and were matched to participants based on their skills and interests. During this phase, participants also engaged in activities related to personal development, cohort building, and job-matching.
  • Internships in a variety of work sites were matched to participants based on their skills and interests. The YAIP subsidized employment for youth, at minimum wage, to work 20 hours per week in their internships and to attend a weekly mandatory educational workshop that provided additional ongoing job-readiness skills development. The educational workshop included additional work readiness, personal development, and cohort-building activities, as well as related topics, such as healthy living and financial literacy.
  • Follow-up services, including case management, focused on providing assistance finding work, pursuing educational opportunities, or exploring military placements after the internship. Other supportive services such as housing and transportation assistance were also provided.

Throughout each of the phases, case management was available. The intervention was implemented as planned, but staff reported several challenges in recruiting individuals, managing overlapping cohorts of participants, delivering services to disadvantaged youth, and meeting oversight and performance expectations, which led to staff turnover. In addition, attendance at the mandatory educational workshops was not consistent. Although the YAIP was designed to be a so-called light touch intervention, many staff and participants indicated that a longer intervention with more support would be necessary to meet the goals of the program.

Service intensity

The YAIP was delivered in three sequential phases: an orientation and work-readiness workshop, which lasted 2 to 4 weeks; a paid internship and educational workshop, which lasted 10 to 12 weeks; and a 9-month follow-up period after the internship ended. Follow-up case management could be delivered through different contact methods, including phone calls, home visits, or social media.

Comparison conditions

Individuals in the comparison group were not offered services provided by the YAIP but could access other services in the community, including some non-YAIP services offered by YAIP provider agencies.

Partnerships

The implementing organizations could refer participants to various partner organizations for necessary services, such as transportation assistance, clothing, and financial education.

Staffing

Typically, one program coordinator, two case managers, one worksite developer/coordinator, and one intake/recruitment specialist provided services at each site. The program coordinator reported to the implementing organization’s director of workforce programs, whose work was supervised by one of three Department of Youth and Community Development program managers and the YAIP director. The study authors did not include information on staff training, degrees, or certifications.

Local context

The program was implemented in 13 locations across New York City. Participants were recruited from community districts with high poverty rates.

Fidelity measures

The study did not discuss any tools to measure fidelity to the intervention model.

Funding source

The YAIP was initially funded by the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. Starting in 2011, additional funding from the New York City Young Men’s Initiative, a public-private partnership, allowed the program to serve more individuals.

Cost information

A cost study examined the costs of operating, providing support services, subsidizing wages, and supporting payroll in fiscal year 2014 based on the program budget, a staff time study, and participation data. The average per-participant cost was $5,431 (2016 dollars), which the study deemed low compared with six similar programs that also offered subsidized wages and cost between $4,200 to $10,000 per participant.

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1