Providing city students with a seasonal job, internship or a mentorship open a door of opportunity for both our young people and employers. It delivers extra pairs of hands and a nimble mind to a business. It strengthens our homegrown talent pool from which those businesses can later hire. It provides a hardworking and driven young adult with the chance to earn that first paycheck, and learn the responsibility that comes with it.

Every single employer in New York City – no matter size, address or industry – can make a commitment to give a young person her first career experience, that first step toward envisioning a successful career. And in turn, our employers can also gain significant benefits for the future of their business and the future of our city’s economy.

Here’s how.

Offer a paid, professional summer internship.

The Ladders for Leaders internship program is a nationally recognized program that offers a diverse mix of our city’s best and brightest high school and undergraduate college students the opportunity to participate in paid, professional summer internship for six weeks within leading large and small businesses, nonprofits and government agencies citywide. Each candidate is placed following a rigorous application and selection process, and all selected participants receive 30-hours of pre-employment training. Ladders for Leaders is a clear asset to both the participating students and businesses – more than a third of the interns that participated last year received offers of employment after the program ended.

Partner with the NYC Fashion Forward initiative.

If you are a fashion employer, join the NYC Fashion Forward initiative, a public-private partnership between the NYC Center for Youth Employment, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the NYC Economic Development Corporation to create unique early work exposure and experiences for young people throughout the fashion industry. NYC Fashion Forward will select 100 students from Ladders for Leaders for specialized internships with fashion companies across New York City, from designers and manufacturers to public relations specialists and small business owners.

Provide access to summer jobs.

The Summer Youth Employment Program provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks. SYEP also provides workshops on job readiness, career exploration, financial literacy and opportunities to continue education and social growth. A priority for the program – and for Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray – is to ensure that young adults in foster care and the shelter system in particular have access to opportunities through SYEP. SYEP is proven to be beneficial to businesses – 98 percent of participating employers reported having a positive experience with their interns.

Host a site visit.

The Center is looking for employers to offer site tours and information sessions for groups of 15 to 18 young adults in work readiness programs. Participating young people gain awareness of a potential career path, as well as an opportunity to talk with workers at the company and better understand the paths they took into their current careers. The Center provides preparatory and follow-up activities for the youth participants, to ensure that the visit has long-term value.

Partner with a Career and Technical Education high school.

The Department of Education supports a portfolio of dedicated Career and Technical Education high schools that offer career-focused education, work experience and skills training in high-demand industries from computer science to culinary arts. Partnership activities can include serving on a school advisory board, hosting a teacher extern who is looking to brush up on technical skills for a short period, advising on curriculum, providing scholarship support and speaking to classes. Strong employer partners from industry are a crucial element of any successful CTE program — and partners themselves benefit from increased awareness of their companies as well as helping to ensure that potential new workers in their fields are educated and trained with up to date concepts and tools.

Host and support a Career and Technical Education student as an intern.

As part of their intensive programs of study, high school seniors in Career and Technical Education programs engage in paid part-time internships over several months in the fall or spring, or a shorter full-time internship over the summer. Through these placements, students apply their skills and gain experience doing meaningful work for New York City businesses. Internships typically run for 10-14 weeks during the school year, with interns working approximately 10 hours per week. Summer CTE internships are of shorter duration, but interns work approximately 25-30 hours per week.

Team up with a New York City high school or to provide mentors for youth.

For nearly 30 years, the Department of Education has supported organizational mentoring partnerships between employers and New York City high schools. The NYC Mentoring Program connects organizations that send at least 15 mentors to work one-on-one with high school sophomores and juniors every month. Mentors help young people understand the value of education and the world of work, solve problems, and make plans to achieve their goals in and beyond high school. Mentors are expected to meet with students one hour each week, or two hours bi-weekly.

Work with the Cornerstone Mentoring Program

The goal of the Cornerstone Mentoring Program is to support youth in fifth through twelfth grades during the transitions from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school, by cultivating positive personal relationships. These programs are currently in place in 25 New York City Housing Authority community centers to support and implement a mentoring component as part of their programs.