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Mayor Bowser Releases 2018 Summer Youth Employment Program Report

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Annual report highlights key accomplishments of the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the 2018 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) Annual Report. Mayor Bowser acknowledged the Department of Employment Services’ (DOES) work in administering the program and celebrated the strides the program has made over its 40 year history. The report notes, within the last year, MBSYEP saw a strong interest and participation among 22 to 24 year-olds, expanded the use of success coaches to facilitate workplace achievements during and after completion of the program, saw a 17 percent increase in returning participants and provided $167,500 in scholarships for MBSYEP participants for post-program and occupational and educational opportunities.

“The accomplishments highlighted in the program’s recent annual report reflect the commitment in preserving and strengthening the pipeline that connects young Washingtonians to job opportunities and advancement in education”, said Mayor Bowser. “Throughout 40 years, the program has served as the gateway to the workforce and the first step on a pathway to the middle class for thousands of District youth.”

Each year, the MBSYEP report offers a snapshot of the program, illustrating its impact and reach over the program year. For 2018, the program focused on introducing or preparing youth for in-demand careers, while fostering positive attitudes and creating awareness of post-secondary education opportunities.

“As we mark the 40th anniversary of MBSYEP, I am proud of the progress we have made. With continued investments in technology, we were able to increase accessibility by making all MBSYEP applications and content accessible on mobile devices,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes. “In 2018 we added a subcomponent, the DC Talent Leaders, which gives participants ages 18 to 24 a fair shot at career advancement, while expanding the pool of MBSYEP host employers.”

Established in 1979 by Mayor Marion S. Barry, MBSYEP is a locally-funded initiative that provides District youth with six weeks of summer work experience through subsidized placements in the private and public sectors. The program partners with hundreds of DC employers who are uniquely positioned to provide relevant training and employment guidance to DC’s youth.

In 2015, Mayor Bowser expanded the program to include District residents ages 22-24. In 2017, the same year the expansion became permanent, 1,000 DC youth ages 22-24 earned more than $1.8 million in wages through the program. Many of these young people came from Wards 7 and 8, where unemployment rates and the opportunity gap are the highest. That same year, the program launched the Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship, a pilot program designed to support MBSYEP participants in their post-secondary endeavors. Under the Bowser Administration, MBSYEP participants have received over $300,000 in scholarships for college, training, and military programs.

In 2018, nearly 11,000 young Washingtonians participated in MBSYEP, working more than 1.3 million total hours. In recent years, the program rolled out CareerEdge and JabaTalks, new technology platforms that allow participants to use their mobile devices to complete professional development sessions, practice job interviews and connect with employers.

Today, MBSYEP is one of the largest summer jobs programs in the country and stands as a national model. The District has been recognized as one of the top cities for summer jobs by and

MBSYEP 2019 will begin on Monday, June 24, 2019 and will end on Friday, August 2, 2019.

For more information about MBSYEP, visit