While one study shows that those in New York City’s LGBTQ community still face employment discrimination despite “big strides,” Mayor Bill de Blasio is celebrating the number of summer jobs for the city’s “most vulnerable children.”
The Center for Youth Employment, a public-private partnership between the de Blasio administration and local private sector leaders, tripled the number of summer jobs for New Yorkers between the ages of 14 and 24 with current or past involvement in the shelter, justice or foster care systems, according to City Hall.
LGBTQ youth make up a large portion of New York’s vulnerable population, with issues like family rejection leading to homelessness and poverty all too often. The Center for Youth Employment joined forces with other agencies, including the community-based Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), and came up with a first-of-its-kind LGBTQ Youth Employment Best Practices Manual thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Arcus Foundation.
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The practices aim to increase LGBTQ youth employment and to offer support to keep them employed.
“We are extremely proud of this program, and look forward to its continued success,” de Blasio said. “Creating opportunities for our most vulnerable children facilitates personal growth for them and economic growth for the city.”
Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a separate study a few days prior to the mayor’s announcement on Friday that found that 21 percent of the 359 LGBTQ survey respondents believe they had been denied a promotion at a job, not hired for a job they applied for, or fired or forced to resign from a job due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
A full 42 percent of respondents from all five boroughs who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming said they were denied a promotion at work, not hired or forced to resign, according to survey findings.
“We’ve made big strides, but there is undoubtedly more to do,” Stringer said. “No one should face economic insecurity, harassment or unequal public treatment because of who they are or who they love. We launched this survey to pinpoint the gaps in services, identify where New York City can improve, and spotlight how we can become a more inclusive city.
“In 2017, too many states across America are fixated on backwards ‘bathroom bills’ and want nothing more than to turn back the clock on progress. New York City must continue to be a leader when it comes to building communities where everyone feels safe and respected.”
The Center for Youth Employment was created in 2015 to focus on support systems for New York’s young people who are at higher risk of negative economic outcomes, including low educational attainment, unemployment, low earnings, incarceration and homelessness. The center provides young people with access to summer jobs and the enrollment number for the Summer Youth Employment Program grew from 1,000 in 2014 to 3,000 in 2016.
Updated figures are expected in July.
“H.M.I. is so thrilled and grateful to be part of this important and timely work with the mayor’s office. It is encouraging and heartening to witness and aid government institutions in better recognizing and serving the needs of our city’s most marginalized and vulnerable, LGBTQ youth,” Hetrick Martin Institute CEO Thomas Krever said. “Giving the next generation more chances to succeed means a brighter future for all of us.”