Mechanical Engineering Jobs New York – Summer Jobs Pay Urban Teens More Than Pocket Money Two new studies back up the saying, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
Participants in the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program learn how to repair a bicycle. (Credit: NYC Department of Youth and Community Development)
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As East Coast cities patiently wait for winter to melt, it’s a good time for U.S. municipal and private sector employers to start thinking about summer.
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The summer months are a critical time for young people to enter working life. From 1999 to 2013, the number of 16- to 19-year-olds in employment fell by a whopping 40 percent from June to July, falling to just 32.3 percent.
“The nation’s fifty most populous cities have all had summer programs for youth in the past five years,” write the authors of a recent study. “With youth unemployment still high after the Great Recession, youth employment programs have come under scrutiny from policymakers.” They looked at evidence that may highlight the wide-ranging effects – as much social as economic – that good summer jobs can have on young people living in cities.
“Youth Employment Effects: Evidence from the New York Summer Youth Work Program Lottery” examined a large data set (294,580 applicants) from a summer youth program administered by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).
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The first of the report’s two financial findings is straightforward. Those enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) earned more money than the control group during the year of the program. The second is a bit more confusing. During the three years following the program, SYEP participants earned slightly less than their peers.
“We know that the majority of our participants – 92 percent – go to school,” explains Christopher Lewis, director of SYEP. The study found that SYEP applicants did not have a higher rate of college enrollment than a control group, but Lewis suggests that alumni of the program may still have heavy academic responsibilities that may prevent them from working as often as their peers while in school. “We feel that if you took a longer objective view of the earning potential of these participants, you could get an inverse picture of the impact of this summer’s youth experience.”
The social and health effects of participating in SYEP were crystal clear. SYEP participants had a 10 percent lower incarceration rate and a 20 percent lower mortality rate than those who did not participate in the data.
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“When [SYEP] started in the ’60s, it was just a way to get kids off the street. It has a lot of anti-crime and anti-violence aspects,” said Julia Breitman of DYCD. “It’s very encouraging to know that it’s still making the impact it was originally intended to make.”
In another study published in December, “Summer Jobs Reduce Violence Among Disadvantaged Youth,” University of Pennsylvania criminology professor Sara Heller offers more targeted answers to how summer jobs affect lives beyond just workforce development.
Heller looked at a sample of 1,634 teenagers from Chicago’s One Summer Plus summer job program and the University of Chicago Crime Lab to see how summer jobs affected crime rates.
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“Many decision-makers are already of the opinion that summer work must reduce crime,” says Heller. “You hear all the time in the political world that ‘nothing stops a bullet like a job,’ but it turns out that the research evidence really doesn’t exist.”
Heller looked for evidence and found that summer job participants had 43 percent fewer arrests than those outside the program — and the comparatively lower crime rate persisted more than a year after participating in the One Summer Plus program.
“Mechanisms are a big question,” says Heller. “What do summer work programs do that would affect crime and violence, but not necessarily employment? I’m working on some follow-up studies to answer this question with data, but I think a good working hypothesis is that it teaches some kind of skill that’s important to avoid crime and violence.
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An employer mentor told Heller how some participants in the One Summer Plus program tend to get defensive about taking instructions. Some of the difficult experiences of their upbringing made them react angrily to even the slightest criticism.
“Violent crime, by definition, involves conflict with other people,” says Heller. “Maybe work programs teach kids how to deal with conflict more constructively, whether it’s conflict with violent peers or maybe conflict with superiors.”
“In addition to just providing work, we also have additional services around job readiness and financial literacy,” Lewis says of SYEP. “Another part of the program is the teaching of basic life experiences. You can apply it to the work environment, but many of the lessons can be applied to life as well.”
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When it comes to career opportunities for these young people, the youth labor market remains weak – especially for blacks and Latinos, and lower-income or less-educated households. But summer job programs across the country are bucking that trend.
Last week, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer challenged businesses to create 2,500 jobs for the city’s SummerWorks program. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved $6.5 million in funding for the CalWORKS year-round employment program, which could help 1,500 teenagers work both during the summer and after school.
Heller hopes that further research will continue to support the idea that summer jobs have a valuable impact on the lives of urban youth, and answer the questions of why this works and for whom.
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“I hope that other jurisdictions moving forward will take these two studies as a call to learn from what they are already doing.”
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Alexis Stephens was Next City’s Fair Cities Fellow 2014-2015. He has written about housing, pop culture, global music subcultures and other publications such as
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. He holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Mechanical engineers earn an average of $75,352 per year, or $36.23 per hour in the United States. Mechanical engineers at the lowest end of this spectrum, the bottom 10 percent to be exact, earn about $58,000 a year, while the top 10 percent earn $97,000. Location affects how much a mechanical engineer can expect to earn. Mechanical engineers do most of their work in Washington, Idaho, California, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.
Here’s How Much Money Mechanical Engineers Make In Every State
Across the United States, the average salary for a mechanical engineer is about $75,352 per year, which breaks down to $36.23 per hour. Interestingly, mechanical engineers have the highest salaries in San Francisco, California at around $96,117 per year. The average starting salary for entry-level employees in San Francisco, CA is $72,000. Additionally, mechanical engineers earn more than the average salary in Seattle, WA, Plymouth, MA, Washington DC, Hillsboro, OR, and Austin, TX. On
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