Absence of conflict of interest.
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) on employment and earnings.
- The study was a randomized controlled trial that used data from the National Directory of New Hires, National Student Clearinghouse, and self-report surveys to compare outcomes between individuals receiving YAIP services and a control group.
- The study did not find significant differences in employment or earnings between the YAIP and control group participants at the 30-month follow-up.
- This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we would be confident that any estimated effects would be attributable to the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.
Young Adult Internship Program
Features of the Intervention
The Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) was designed in 2007 as a workforce development program for young New York City residents living in poverty who are unemployed or not in school. The program was overseen by the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. The YAIP provided a temporary paid internship to individuals aged 16–24 with additional support services. The YAIP was delivered by 12 independent providers and enrolled young adults into cohorts of 30, with a new cohort starting every four months. The first two to four weeks of the program included daily job readiness workshops by program staff. Participants were paid minimum wage for 25 hours per week. By weeks 10 through 12, program members were expected to work 20 hours a week at their internship placement, earning minimum wage and attending weekly one-hour educational workshops. After the completion of the internship, participants could receive follow-up services for nine months, including assistance securing or maintaining a job, educational, or military placement.
Features of the Study
The study used a randomized controlled trial, where study participants were randomly assigned after enrollment into either the YAIP program (treatment) or control group. The study enrolled 2,678 young adults between July 2013 and March 2014 and participants were followed for 30 months thereafter. Treatment group participants received YAIP services and control group participants received community services with access to non-YAIP services from YAIP providers. The treatment group included 1,638 participants and the control group included 1,040 participants. Participants were from the Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn boroughs. Eighty percent of the study participants were required to be from high poverty areas. Less than half of the study sample was male (49 percent) and had an average age of 21 years. The majority of participants were Black (58 percent) or Hispanic (36 percent). Data sources included the National Directory of New Hires, the National Student Clearinghouse, and self-report surveys. Study authors used statistical models to examine the differences in employment and earnings outcomes between the treatment and control groups 30 months after YAIP implementation.
- The study found no statistically significant difference in employment between treatment and control participants at the 30-month follow-up.
Earnings and wages
- The study found no statistically significant difference in earnings between treatment and control participants at the 30-month follow-up.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The probability of assignment into the YAIP and control groups differed at times when it became necessary to fill up slots within a cohort. This action could have compromised the study’s randomization, but authors corrected it using statistical methods. Additionally, only a subset of the study sample completed each survey. Therefore, it is possible that the participants who completed the surveys are not representative of entire sample.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is high, because it was based on a well-implemented randomized controlled trial. This means we would be confident that any estimated effects would be attributable to the Young Adults Internship Program, and not to other factors. However, the study did not find statistically significant effects.