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NULab Core Faculty Alicia Modestino Discusses Research on Summer Youth Employment Programs

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Alicia Modestino, NULab Core Faculty member and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Economics at Northeastern, co-authored an article published by Brookings regarding summer youth employment programs (SYEP). Modestino and others’ new research on Boston’s summer jobs program adds to the growing evidence base of the benefits of these programs, especially in lowering crime and improving academic outcomes. Previous evaluations of summer jobs programs focused on subsidized jobs in the public and nonprofit sector. But in their new research, Modestino and co-authors explore the impacts of the Boston Private Industry Council’s (PIC) program and how it compares to Boston’s publicly funded SYEP.

Their research emphasizes the benefits of including private sector partners in the program. They find that participation in private sector internships brokered by PIC is associated with improvements in attendance, course performance, and high school graduation rates with similar magnitudes as publicly funded programs, with additional gains in postsecondary education. Unsubsidized private sector positions can be an important complement to subsidized placements in public and nonprofit entities. Local governments can take advantage of federal funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act to build the organizational capacity necessary to provide a strong framework for these programs and attract new private sector partners.

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