The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program offers virtual experience for Charlotte youth
Leslie Blaser

Each year, the Mayor's Youth Employment Program (MYEP) provides more than 500 high school students ages 16-18 work experiences to expose them to different career paths and improve economic mobility in our region. Historically, students have worked on site at these businesses, gaining real-world skills and experience, but COVID-19 brought many changes to the program. The City of Charlotte pivoted its traditional in-person program to provide a virtual experience for students, the first of its kind. Partnering with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Radius Learning, and LinkedIn, MYEP youth completed over 21,900 hours of workforce learning.

This summer, more than 360 high school students participated in the virtual MYEP. Students could choose from five different career pathways and interacted with more than 50 professionals from companies like Sealed Air, Bank of America, Siemens, Atrium Health, Accenture, Red Ventures and more. Twenty teachers from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' Career and Technical Education program guided students along these different career pathways, and more than 290 students completed certificates from the program.

"I've gained valuable career skills that will help me find my way to my dream job. More importantly, I have become more confident in myself, knowing that I am prepared with skills I can put on my resume and people I can add to my network," said MYEP participant Shourya Mukherjee.

This year's virtual program has been featured as a local innovation by the Governor's Commission on Workforce Development at the N.C. Department of Commerce. This local innovation series features "promising practices that can be replicated across North Carolina."

Since 1986, the Mayor's Youth Employment Program has worked with local businesses to provide high school students with meaningful work experiences that help build social capital and enhance economic mobility. MYEP serves as a mentoring organization for summer youth employment programs nationally, with assistance from the National League of Cities and the National Summer Learning Association.

Learn more about the MYEP