Great question! It's a little confusing, we know. Since we have multiple funding partners, there are a few different ways you can qualify.
- Teens between the ages of 14-20 who live in the City of Ithaca qualify for our summer jobs program.
- Teens who are first time workers, age 14-20, and live in the Towns of Ithaca, Caroline, Enfield, Danby, or the Villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights qualify for our summer jobs program.
- Teens ages 14-20 living anywhere at Tompkins County, whose family income is at 200% of the federal poverty line or lower qualify via the Summer Youth Employment Program. Typically, qualifying for free or reduced price lunch at school is a good indication that your family income may qualify for this program, although it is not in itself a guarantee of eligibility. Teens qualifying in this way will need to complete a separate form and either identify the public services they receive or provide income documentation.
But wait, there's more! Not all of these funding sources provide the same number of positions, so depending on how a teen qualifies, they may be placed on a wait-list even if they apply before our summer deadline. Additionally, some of this funding is anticipated, and final funding amounts are not determined until later in the Spring, which is why we cannot guarantee employment to any teens who apply until we send out an official job offer letter (usually in May or early June).
So those are the "qualifications". But we also have priorities across all our funding sources Which are:
- 14 and 15-year-olds
- First time workers
- Teens from underrepresented communities
- Teens facing multiple and/or severe barriers to private employment
We accept applications and interview all teens who qualify, but if we have more applicants than placements available, we will prioritize serving teens who fall into the above categories.
This means that if you've worked with YES several times before and do not have significant barriers to employment, you may better off seeking private employment than hoping for a YES Placement (and we can help you get started with that!).