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For Youth (16-24)

CNY Works Youth Services is committed to preparing our 16-24 year old participants for careers, not just entry-level jobs.

Through a variety of enrichment activities, our educational and vocational opportunities enable youth and young adults to make better educational and occupational decisions.

We seek to place as many youth as possible in appropriate, meaningful jobs in safe settings, while providing exceptional supports, academic enrichment and opportunities to gain marketable skills; and to provide the community and businesses a view of our local emerging workforce at its best.

Are you an out-of-school youth, 24 and under?

If you are 24 or under, out of school and interested in job placement or tuition assistance, CNY Works can help you pursue your educational goals and/or transition successfully into the workforce.

Please contact our Youth Department at more information.

Ways to get in the workforce

  • Summer Youth Program (Ages 14-20)  
  • Youth Line: (315) 477-6909

Employment orientation video--check it out!

**Other programs available for individuals whose eligibility may fall outside of the income guidelines**

Programs and Services for Youth

CNY works is “all things job” for eligible youth ages 16-24! Our experienced staff will meet one-on-one to assess each customer’s skills and needs. Customers will have access to such services as tutoring and study skills training, occupational skill training, leadership development, mentoring, financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills training and other supportive services.

Our dedicated staff work solely with youth and are experienced in assisting customers navigate the social service and education system and removing barriers to education and employment. They also work with employers to ensure youth customers have the skills employers are looking for to ensure the employee’s success.

Earn And Learn!

Work experience is offered to qualifying customers at a wide number of local businesses. These work sites provide valuable training to customers that will provide transferable skills to future career paths. While employed by CNY works, customers work at the local business location and are supervised by business-owned staff.


Out-of-school youth—an individual who is—

(i) not attending any school (as defined under state law);
(ii) not younger than age 16 or older than age 24; and
(iii) one or more of the following:

  1. A school dropout.

  2. A youth who is within the age of compulsory school attendance, but has not attended school for at least the most recent complete school year calendar quarter.

  3. A recipient of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent who is a low-income individual and is—

    1. (aa) basic skills deficient; or

    2. (bb) an english language learner.

(iv) an individual who is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system.
(v) a homeless, a runaway, in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, a child eligible for assistance under section 477 of the social security act (42 u.s.c. 677), or in an out-of-home placement.
(vi) an individual who is pregnant or parenting.
(vii) a youth who is an individual with a disability.
(viii) a low-income individual who requires additional assistance to enter or complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment.

In-school youth.— An individual who is—

(i) attending school (as defined by state law)
(ii) not younger than age 14 or (unless an individual with a disability who is attending school under state law) older than age 21;
(iii) a low-income individual; and
(iv) one or more of the following:

  1. Basic skills deficient.

  2. An english language learner.

  3. An offender.

  4. A homeless individual, a homeless child or youth, a runaway, in foster care or has aged out of the foster care system, a child eligible for assistance under section 477 of the social security act (42 u.s.c. 677), or in an out-of-home placement.

  5. A youth who is an individual with a disability. (vii) an individual who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment.

Special rule: the term “low-income”, used with respect to an individual, also includes a youth living in a high-poverty area.


Become A Work Site!

Businesses (including nonprofits) that want to nurture the local youth population, provide skills, improve confidence and enhance prospects for future career growth can become a work site! Please contact the Youth Department at for more information and a team member will get back to you.

Here is a list of some local businesses helping local youth by becoming a work site:

  • Syracuse University
  • Peace, Inc.
  • Onondaga Community College
  • Rosamond Gifford Zoo
  • City of Syracuse
  • Rescue Mission
Summer Employment Opportunities

This unique summer program expands the work experience opportunities for youth who qualify under TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). A typical work experience provides the youth with approximately 25 hours per week for six weeks.


Eligible participants include youth ages 14 to 20 that are:

  • Family Assistance (FA) recipients;
  • Former FA recipients who have reached their 60-month limit on TANF and have transitioned to Safety Net (SN) assistance; or
  • Eligible under the 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines in accordance with New York State policy 00-lcm-20.
  • If you don't fall within these income guidelines, there are other programs that may be available to assist in providing a summer work experience


Money Smart – Financial Literacy

CNY Works collaborates with Syracuse Cooperative FCU to train youth in the handling of money.

The curriculum includes:

  • Starting a savings account and the basics of saving
  • Learning how to budget
  • Understanding credit and using credit wisely
  • What you need to know before buying a car
  • How to move out of their parents' or guardian’s house
  • Consumer rights and responsibilities
  • Investment accounts and saving for the future

Join these local employers as a Youth Work Site and make a positive impact on the future of Central New York by contacting the Youth Department at for more information.