This Is Queensborough: Supporting Young Adults and Local Businesses

This Is Queensborough: Queens Community House Reopens Newly Renovated Forest Hills Community Center | May 2023: Every year, Queens Community House (QCH) connects with many young adults who struggle during the pivotal transition period from childhood to adult life. Hurdles include family economic hardship, anxiety and depression, peer pressure, and more. Unfortunately, these obstacles make it difficult for many young adults in Queens to see themselves finding a career in the future. QCH works to ensure that all young people in the borough have access to the same opportunities by providing an array of employment services that prepare them for success in the workplace.

Since 1987, our youth workforce services have been focused on strengthening young people’s communication and teamwork skills, self-esteem, and leadership abilities -- factors associated with long-term educational and career success. Among our wide array of opportunities are Queens Connect Young Adult Food Sector Initiative, YouthBuild Queens, and the Neighborhood Intergenerational Chore and Errand program, all of which provide young adults with solid work experience and opportunities to develop workplace skills. In 2009, we expanded our youth workforce programming to include NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), the nation’s largest youth employment program.

Each year, under NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development, SYEP provides youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. QCH’s SYEP participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, summer camps, law firms, and retail businesses. QCH also provides workshops on job readiness, career exploration, and financial literacy.

Work experience at a young age can be hard to come by, and many of the skills that make someone a successful worker are learned on the job. Hosting SYEP gives QCH the opportunity to provide these tools to young people across Queens.

Every summer, QCH connects with about 1700 young people through SYEP and helps them find meaningful work experience while providing support for local businesses. One of our young people with a passion for video editing was placed at the Astoria Film Festival last year. “I was able to learn so much about editing techniques for film, something I’ve always been interested in as a hobby,” said Sohail Ahmad, QCH SYEP intern at the Astoria Film Festival. “I would definitely recommend QCH SYEP to any young people in Queens considering it for the summer.”

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