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youth job services

Learn about our STEP1 Program! 

Summer Program

14-20, want to earn extra money and get work experience?

See if you qualify for our summer program!

Year Round Program

16-24, looking for work, and just starting out?

We can help!

Career Exploration

Unsure of what you want or don't the next step?

We can guide you.

How to Interview

How to Keep a Job

Writing a Resume and More

Job Tips

Youth Summer Job Program

Summer Program

The Summer Youth Employment & Training Program (SYEP) is for eligible 14 to 20 year old youth that are looking to:

  • Earn extra money through work and incentives

  • Get work experience through a real job

  • Learn skills needed to succeed in career and life


Our ideal candidates have:

  • A willingness to work hard

  • A willingness to learn and observe

  • A willingness to go the extra mile

  • The ability to follow instruction

  • A positive outlook


In addition to working, you may also undergo some valuable classroom activities.

Program eligibility is based on income.  Income guidelines are established by the Federal government are listed below.

Your first step to participating in the program is to fill out an application and gather the needed documents.


You will need working papers if you are under the age of 18.  Get them from your school's guidance office.  

Applications OPEN for SYEP 2024

Cortland County Application 

Cayuga County Application



Send inquiries to:



Please read the instructions for reporting income carefully. We sometimes have more applicants than we have funding to hire. When this happens, we are required to serve specific priority groups, according to state and federal laws. Please make sure that your application accurately reflects your status. 

The application and required documents due date for 2024 will be announced. 

After your application and documents are received, you will undergo an interview with program staff. 

Your best chances of getting a job are by completing and returning required materials on time, attending and participating in the interview workshop, and making a good impression at the interview. A positive attitude is a must!


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Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2021
Federal Income Guidelines


Eligibility for summer employment is based only on family income guidelines established by the Federal government. Annual gross income levels for eligibility are listed below.


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Employment for Kids

Year Round Youth Program

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) allows us to assist eligible in school and out of school youth from the ages of 16 - 24.  The WIOA program in partnership with the Career Centers is designed to give every possible advantage to those eligible to have a strong beginning to the adult half of their lives.

What we offer

  • Individual career counseling to determine what type of career you would like to pursue. We focus on in-demand occupations to ensure excellent employment prospects.

  • Evaluation of current skills and education to help you identify careers and training programs that will suit your needs and abilities

  • Diagnostic testing to identify areas for literacy improvement

  • Tutoring services for basic skills development—on site or in the community—depending on your needs

  • Work placements to help you develop real-world skills and experience

  • Support for educational programs, including BOCES and TC3

  • Connections to community agencies that provide services you need and desire

What we expect

  • ·A strong commitment to success

  • Consistent communication with youth counselors

  • Full participation in any services you choose to take advantage of

  • Attendance at scheduled appointments and workshops

  • A positive, determined attitude

  • Willingness to explore opportunities and experiences that will help open doors to a fulfilling career

To find out if you qualify for our year round program, contact your local career center and ask to speak with a youth specialist.   

Cortland STEP 1 Application 

Cayuga Year-Round Youth Application (Coming Soon) 


Note: You will need working papers if you are under the age of 18.  Get them from your school's guidance office.

career exploration for kids
youth career exploration

Career Exploration

What do you want to be when you grow up? 


 Most of us have been asked that question, and some of us have had a ready answer.  However, many don't have an answer. As you reach high school that can become frustrating and stressful as that question becomes more serious, and we struggled to find an answer.  Know this:  You're not alone, and we can help.

Our career counselors know all about career exploration and what it's like to feel like you're making a decision that can impact the rest of your life.  We can guide you to the right path and make a plan.

To get you started, consider making an appointment with one our specialists. 


Want to learn more on your own? Explore the following sites and articles: 

Career Zone


Career Planning for High Schoolers

Career Vision Articles

My Next Move

Career One Stop

Roadtrip Nation


Youth Roots
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