2024 Summer Youth Employment Program

The City kicked off the 2024 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) on July 1. Under this program, high school students from Champaign Unit 4 School District are placed with employer partners for a six-week, 105-hour paid work experience. As a result of an unexpected structural change to the program this year, students are not only placed at, but are also officially hired by their respective employer partner. For the first time, the students placed with the City are City employees. Since the City has not historically hired employees under the age of 18, staff from multiple departments came together quickly to develop and implement a paid high school internship program, and navigate the legal and logistical complexities of hiring and working with minors.

To date, SYEP has placed seven students within the Equity and Engagement, Finance, Information Technologies, Police, and Public Works Departments, and the City Manager’s Office.

On July 1, 2024, the Human Resources Department, led by HR Specialists, Steve Harms and Stacy Rachel, held a new employee orientation attended by the students, their respective assigned City supervisors, and Unit 4 staff. City Manager, Dorothy David, provided welcoming remarks, and Communications Manager, Jeff Hamilton, spoke about appropriate social media use in the public sector. Afterwards, students had an IT orientation led by Systems Administrator, Colleen Kilian, and learned about public records management from Records Specialist, Rob Baker. This year’s program will run through August 9, 2024.