SYEP for U-M Employers

With the help of over 100 departments across the University network, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) has provided roughly 150 young people with meaningful work experiences over the last three summers. Thanks to the support of our supervisors, a total of $101,312 was invested in the success of local youth in 2019. For many employees, the SYEP connects them with their first job experience. For others, the SYEP served as a stepping stone to prepare them for successful, life-long careers. These experiences wouldn’t be possible without the jobs and mentorship our employers provide. 

Interested in hosting a youth employee?
Here’s what to expect:

As a University of Michigan employer, you will help provide mentorship experiences and support  young people as they build their professional networks and leadership skills. SYEP program staff will provide additional wrap-around supports to ensure a successful experience. Becoming an SYEP employer helps your department while also helping Washtenaw County’s talented youth gain employment this summer. 

Program Overview

University of Michigan departments provide at least 20 hours of paid work per week between June 15th and August 21st, 2020. Please note, four of your employee’s weekly hours will be spent off-site in enrichment sessions facilitated by program staff. Youth employees are paid an hourly rate of $10 or $12, dependent upon high school completion or equivalent.

Benefits to Your Department

  • Fill summer vacation and coverage gaps while students are away from campus
  • Finish outstanding projects
  • Provide training and mentorship to invest in the future workforce
  • Opportunities to incorporate a fresh perspective in departmental processes and systems
  • Give back to your community by supporting the development of a young professional

Support from the Summer Youth Employment Team:

  • Program staff and University HR facilitate all HR and hiring processes for youth employees including:
    • I-9 form
    • Work permits (for employees under the age of 18)
    • U-M employment application
    • Basic MCard, uniqname, level 1 kerberos password, email access
    • Background checks (if required)
  • Access to Success Coaches, recent U-M graduates or graduate students who provide 1:1 support to youth and employers throughout the summer.
  • Orientation activities and opportunities to learn from others about how to create a youth-friendly job that fulfills your needs.
  • Program staff facilitate pre-employment soft skills training for all youth employees to ensure they have had introductory training for the workforce.

To RSVP and for additional questions please contact:

Learn more about SummerWorks at:

Want to Learn More?

Please join us for one of the following Employer Information Sessions:

  • Friday, February 7th | 8:30 – 10:00am | Wolverine Tower, 10th Floor Conference Room, 10004
  • Friday, February 21st | 8:30 – 10:00am | Palmer Commons, Great Lakes South Room
  • Friday, March 6th | 8:30 – 10:00am | Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Room 3240

Light breakfast and refreshments will be provided.

RSVP for a session, please complete this form.

Are you unable to attend an info session but want to learn more about the SYEP? No problem! Please contact us at; one of our staff members would be happy to visit your office or answer questions over the phone.


What is expected from hiring departments?

Employers provide ten weeks of employment for 16 hours of work and 4 hours of enrichment at a rate of $10.00 or $12.00/hour. Departments are responsible for compensation. Youth are paid on a bi-weekly schedule and units will follow standard payroll procedures. U-M Human Resources will facilitate all hiring and payment processes, including coordination of work permits for youth under the age of 18.

Can my unit submit more than one position?

Yes, your unit can request to hire more than one young person. Please be clear in the application if you will have multiple supervisors for the youth employees.

What can I expect from my experience as an employer?

Throughout the duration of the Summer Youth Employment Program, U-M employers will be offered continuous support from the program’s Success Coaches. Success Coaches serve as program liaisons for employers to help you navigate the program and create a positive experience for you as an employer. U-M Human Resources will also be available to help troubleshoot issues that may arise.

Employing a young person for the Summer Youth Employment Program is a rewarding experience! Program staff will be available to answer any questions you may have that arise during the summer. Please note that SYEP is part of a county-wide partnership and U-M employers will be required to travel off-campus for a small number of programmatic events (see calendar of dates below).

How are youth employees selected for the summer jobs program?

All youth, ages 16-24, from Washtenaw County are eligible to apply. After youth are accepted and attend pre-employment soft skills training, they will attend an interview day with employers. This is an opportunity for both employers and employees to find the best match for positions.

What kind of skills can I expect from my youth employee?

Youth employees come with a variety of skill sets and experiences. For some, this may be their first job, while others may have years of experience. We encourage employers to be adaptable in terms of their employee(s)’ work, offering both support and more challenging work as needed. If there are specific skills or age restrictions that are required for your position , please be sure to include them in the job description.

What are enrichment sessions?

Enrichment sessions are weekly professional development workshops youth employees are required to attend, facilitated by program staff and campus leaders. The sessions focus on topics designed to help youth build concrete job skills and grow their knowledge of the professional world. Program staff will share the enrichment curriculum with employers and provide weekly tips for integrating enrichment topics with their employee’s summer work.

SummerWorks Timeline & Event Calendar

*Required events for all U-M employers.

April 22, 2020: Employer & Supervisor Orientation from 9:00 – 11:00am*

Location: Washtenaw Community College

At orientation, all SYEP  employers from across Washtenaw County and the University of Michigan come together to learn about program goals and intended outcomes, meet staff members and Success Coaches, and engage in training activities. Orientation will provide an overview of the program, next steps, and serve as an opportunity for employers to ask questions as they prepare for hiring a young person.

May 13, 2020 – Interview Day with youth employees from 5:00 – 8:00pm*

Location: Washtenaw Community College

Supervisors will interview interested candidates for their position(s). Youth receive job descriptions in advance. After 5-7 “speed interviews”, hiring supervisors will complete ranking forms to give input regarding which youth would be a good fit for their position(s). Youth will also complete these forms to ensure a mutually beneficial fit. Program staff will then “match” employers to youth.

June 3, 2020 – U-M Employer and Supervisor Workshop 9:00 – 11:00am*

Location: Weiser Hall, 10th floor event space

After completing orientation, U-M employers will meet for an additional workshop to help prepare for employing and mentoring a young person.

June 15, 2020 – Youth Employee Orientation

On the first day of work, youth employees will report to an orientation session with program staff and Success Coaches to learn more about summer expectations and upcoming enrichment sessions.

June 16, 2020: Youth begin work on site

This will be the first day youth employees report to their home department for work. The department will be responsible for any additional on-boarding requirements such as special MCard IDs, higher level login access, workspaces, department-specific training, etc. Youth will work for 16 hours per week at their job site and 4 hours per week in Friday enrichment sessions with success coaches.

July 15, 2020: Mid-Summer Community Engagement Event

Location: TBD

Employers, youth, families, and community members are invited to join us for a mid-program community picnic event.

August 20, 2020: End-of-Summer Celebration Event

Location: TBD

All are invited to help us celebrate the dedication of participating employers and the success of our young people!

August 21, 2020: Last official day of employment