COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program (C-SYEP)

(June, July & August 2020)

1) Overview

This program is designed to target current youth and new youth interested in working toward a goal of developing workplace skills and gaining employment experience while exploring potential Career Pathways. Grantees will partner with local employers in need of Summer workers. Youth targeted in this program will be placed in age-appropriate, ability-appropriate, and experience-appropriate Work-Based Learning Opportunities, Career Development Experience Opportunities or Pre-Apprenticeship programs that target a Registered or Non-Registered Apprenticeship. This may be accomplished by placing and supporting youth in unsubsidized employment, or through an agreement with the employer to fully or partially subsidize the youth's wages for a period not to exceed 3 months (13 weeks) or August 31st, 2020. The primary objective for youth served in the C-SYEP program is to develop their "Essential Employability Skills" and to earn a minimum of 180 hours of entry-level work experience.

2) Objective

The primary objective for youth served in the C-SYEP program is to develop their "Essential Employability Skills" and to earn a minimum of 180 hours of entry-level work experience.

3) Eligible Youth Participants:

Low income and/or at-risk youth ages 16-24 who can document Illinois residency and are able to provide an I9 prior to employment. Examples of risk factors that will deem a youth qualified for the program include:

  • Youth residing in a household receiving TANF funds
  • Youth residing in a household receiving SNAP funds
  • Youth is eligible for Free/Reduced lunch
  • Youth living in a single-parent household
  • Youth experiencing academic difficulties
  • Youth is in danger of or has been previously held back to repeat one or more academic years
  • Youth experiencing truancy concerns
  • Youth is reported to have behavior issues
  • Youth is reported to be a victim of bullying
  • Youth is reported to be a perpetrator of bullying
  • Youth is unsupervised after school
  • Youth has an IEP (Individual Education Plan)
  • Youth has witnessed or been a victim of family violence
  • Youth identifies as LGBTQ
  • Youth has current or prior school expulsions or suspensions
  • Youth with siblings who dropped out of school
  • Youth with siblings who are teen parents
  • Youth has current or prior justice system involvement
  • Youth with siblings who are involved in the juvenile justice system
  • Youth with one or both parents who are incarcerated
  • Youth with siblings who are gang involved
  • Youth is reported to be gang - involved
  • Youth has current or prior DCFS system involvement
  • Youth is experiencing homelessness
  • Youth is pregnant
  • Youth is parenting
  • Youth has a disability
  • Youth with no work experience
  • Youth with a history of employment failure

4) Required Program Components:

a1) Paid Work Experience

All youth will participate in a summer Work-Based Learning Opportunity, Career Development Experience or Pre-Apprenticeship program that targets a Registered or Non-Registered Apprenticeship. This work experience may not extend past August 31st.

a2) Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning provides participants with work-based opportunities to practice and enhance the skills and knowledge gained in their program of study or industry training program, as well as to develop employability, and includes an assessment and recognition of acquired knowledge and skills. Examples include internships, service learning, paid work experience, on-the-job training, and transitional jobs.

a3) Career Development Experience

A supervised work experience relating to an individual's career area of interest that:

  • Occurs in a workplace or under other authentic working conditions;
  • Is co-developed by at least one employer in the relevant field and a service provider and/or an education provider;
  • Provides compensation or educational credit to the participant;
  • Reinforces foundational professional skills including, at a minimum, those outlined in the Essential Employability Skills framework; and
  • Includes a Professional Skills Assessment that assesses skill development and is utilized as a participant feedback tool.

Career Development Experiences may include any of the following, provided the experience meets the definitional criteria: internship, school-based enterprise, supervised agricultural experience, student-led enterprise, or youth apprenticeship.

a4) Pre-Apprenticeship Program

A program that has a documented partnership with an employer and is designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship or Non-Registered Apprenticeship which includes all the following:

  • Training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers in the region and that has been designed to prepare participants to meet the minimum entry-level requirements of the Apprenticeship.
  • Access to educational and career counseling, and other supportive services as needed by participants.
  • Hands-on meaningful learning activities that are connected to education and training activities, such as Career Exploration and Career Development Experiences, and that reinforce foundational professional skills including, at a minimum, those outlined in the Essential Employability Skills framework.
  • Upon successful completion of the program, participants are supported to apply for a Registered Apprenticeship or Non-Registered Apprenticeship program and may receive preference for enrollment.

b) Employment Readiness Activities

All programs will be designed to ensure that all youth are prepared for employment. This includes for example, how to conduct a job search, write a resume, complete an application, how to dress for an interview, appropriate workplace attire, attitude etc. All youth will complete, through Illinois workNet, the Career Cluster Inventory; the Employment 101 pre-assessment, work readiness activities, and post-assessments as necessary to demonstrate work readiness skills improvement.

c) Essential Employability Skills (EES) Development

  1. Self - Assessment - Each youth in the program will complete an initial skills self-assessment.
  2. Skill Development - Programming, services, education and training will be provided and tailored to meet the individualized needs of each youth based on the results of this assessment. (Additional skills assessments can also be incorporated into this process.)
  3. Worksite Professional Skills Assessment - Employers will be required to conduct an assessment on the youth's demonstrated employment skills that at a minimum include Illinois' Essential Employability Skills. This will be conducted at the end of the 2nd week of employment and again anytime within the last 3 weeks of employment. This may also be conducted upon termination if the placement ends prematurely. The first assessment will serve as feedback for the youth and the provider. The second will document skill attainment/improvement.

d) Support Services

  1. Employment Support Services - Supportive services may include transportation assistance, day care expenses, work clothes, tools and supplies, or other items that are required for youth to participate in the program.
  2. Social Emotional Support Services - Individualized, assessment-based case plan services that incorporate goals to address social-emotional barriers to successful employment.
  3. Life Skills Assessment/Development Services - will be provided to youth to increase their life skills in the following areas: Daily Living; Relationships & Communications; Housing & Money Management; Self Care; Work & Study Life; and Permanent Connections. The service plan should be assessment-based (Casey Life Skills Assessment (CLSA)) and age appropriate
  4. Educational Support Services (Optional) - Educational support services may include transportation assistance, day care expenses, clothes, books and supplies, tutoring, academic advising, advocacy, course fees, license and testing fees or other items that are required for youth to participate in education.
  5. Career Plan Development (Optional) - Individualized career plan that incorporates both short and long-term educational and employment goals necessary to achieving sustained employment in a chosen career path. Involves the youth and considers an inventory of the youth's skills, talents and interests.

e) Case Management

An individualized case plan will be developed with the involvement of the youth (and family where appropriate) that incorporates at a minimum: Skill Development; Employment Support Services; Social-Emotional Support Services; Life-Skills Development; and Educational Support Services*.

5) Wage Subsidies / Incentives

Wages may be subsidized by the grant for work experience only. This will include employment, work experience, internships, on-the-job training, transitional jobs, apprenticeships, and supervised school-based and youth-led enterprise. Youth may not receive subsidized wages for participation in non-workplace activities such as employment readiness activities, assessments, case management activities, Career Exploration activities, and non-workplace training and skill development activities. Youth may however receive a stipend or incentives for achievement of certain goals, milestones and training and skill development activities connected to case plan goals.