Mayor Murray’s Youth Employment Initiative embodies an ongoing commitment to prepare Seattle youth for meaningful and successful careers. The initiative builds career pathways for young people and creates a recruitment pipeline for local businesses. The Mayor’s Office is partnering with Educurious to provide youth and young adults with paid internship opportunities that will set them up for future success. 

You can support the initiative in several different ways:

  • Host a paid internship opportunity (we will match you with youth intern(s) from our program)
  • Let us know about your organization’s existing paid internship program (and help us recognize your contributions to our community)
  • Donate to support the initiative and interns outside of your organization

Why join the Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative?

Many young people experience little connection between their lives in and out of school, or their interests and future aspirations. This can result in academic disengagement, lack of career awareness and planning, and poor preparedness for available careers. Seattle experiences chronic dropout rates, substantial need for academic remediation in or prior to college, and persistent opportunity and graduation rate gaps by race and class. In addition, at three times the general unemployment rate, Seattle’s youth are missing out on needed income and first-time employment experiences that can connect them to future education and career opportunities 

At the same time, Puget Sound businesses and communities struggle to connect with qualified workers. Nearly 70% of employers report graduates are deficient in critical thinking and problem solving skills essential to successful job performance. The data are even more challenging with opportunity youth who have not graduated from high school or college. It is clear that there is a need for enhanced educational opportunities to prepare our youth for careers with local employers. 

Internships provide youth and young adults with an opportunity to explore different career options. An internship acts as a stepping stone, and companies can help youth by encouraging them, building up their confidence and giving them openings they may never have or pursue. For companies, investing in the right human capital is critical for success. There is a gap between the talents needed and those available. Companies need to invest in youth by developing their intellectual and social competencies to complement what they have learned throughout school and college. By engaging with youth, mentoring and guiding them, companies are actively building the workforce of the future – a workforce that is bright, capable, in alignment with business imperatives and contributing to a positive economic future.

Participate in Mayor Murray's Youth Employment Initiative here.