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Beyond a summer work experience: The Recovery Act 2009 Post-Summer Youth Employment Initiative (Holcomb et al. 2011)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated

Review Guidelines


Holcomb, P., Ziegler, J., & Laird, E. (2011). Beyond a summer work experience: The Recovery Act 2009 Post-Summer Youth Employment Initiative. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research.


  • Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI) aimed to reverse the steep decline in youth employment during the recession by providing employment opportunities for youth in the summer of 2009. The 2009 Post-SYEI allowed states and local workforce investment areas to provide extended work experiences to older disconnected youth ages 18 to 24 from October 2009 through March 2010.
  • The authors conducted in-depth site visits to eight selected study sites and analyzed the data using qualitative methods.
  • The authors reported that the study sites effectively built upon the implementation of the SYEI by using the same service delivery structure and extending the work experiences of those youth who had already participated in the summer program. The longer time frame for the work experiences was seen as a benefit by participants and employers. Post-SYEI programs also focused on ensuring the alignment between participants’ interests and their work experiences.
  • The authors recommended three considerations for the design of similar policies targeting older out-of-school youth in the future: allowing sufficient time to design such programs, because the needs of older out-of-school youth differ from those of younger youth who are traditionally served by these types of programs; supporting a year-round, not only summer, work experience; and incorporating a transition strategy from the work experience into future opportunities.

Intervention Examined

Summer Youth Employment Initiative (SYEI)

Reviewed by CLEAR

June 2014