Policies/Issues >> Youth Employment >> WIA
<< back to Youth Employment

How WIA Differs from the Summer Jobs Program
In New York City, implementing WIA effectively has been difficult for a variety of reasons. First, the way the service population is targeted does not necessarily reflect the needs of every youth. In order to even be eligible for a WIA program, youth must be identified as confronting "a challenge to successful workforce entry", such as pregnancy, homelessness, or being a juvenile offender. While this is an important youth population to provide with critical, year-round support services after their summer job, there are thousands of other teens that are not facing such barriers. For them, a summer job is meant to be just that-a job that pays them a modest salary to buy clothes or school supplies and lets them actively contribute to their communities by working with youngsters in a day camp or cleaning a local park. Additionally, many of these teens already participate in positive, extracurricular activities through their neighborhood youth organization or community center during the year.

WIA's income eligibility requirements have also made it difficult to implement WIA. In order to qualify for the program, a young person's family income must not be greater than 70% of the Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL). This means that a teen from a family of four with an annual income greater than $22,140 would not be able to enroll in a WIA in-school program. However, under the summer jobs program, which is funded with TANF dollars, a young person's family income must not be greater than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In this case, as long as the income for a family of four does not exceed $35,300, a teen is eligible to take part in the summer jobs program. The difference between these two income standards greatly reduces the total number of youth that would qualify for a summer job under WIA.