Young woman learning to drive a forklift.

New York Youth Eligibility & Participation

Are you 16-24 years old? Find out if you are eligible to apply and get hired through the New York Youth Jobs Program.
New York Youth Eligibility & Participation


Build your future with the New York Youth Jobs Program!

The New York Youth Jobs Program helps young people entering the world of work have a successful start. Participants receive critical workforce skills that will serve them well into their careers. 

Once you are certified to participate in the New York Youth Jobs Program, a counselor can help connect you with opportunities at participating, certified businesses. You can start earning a paycheck, get valuable work experience and start down a possible career path right away.


To be eligible to participate in the New York Youth Jobs Program, you must:

  • Be 16 to 24 years old
  • Be unemployed, employed less than full time and seeking full-time employment, and/or be employed in a position that is inadequate with respect to your skills and training.
  • Live in New York State

In addition, at least one of the following must apply to you:

  • You are 18 years old, no longer in school, and don't have a high school diploma, GED/TASC certificate or high school equivalency diploma
  • You are a member of a family that is receiving assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • You are a member of a family that is receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps)
  • You are a member of a family that is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • You receive a free or reduced-cost school lunch
  • You were referred by a rehabilitation agency approved by the State, or an employment network under the Ticket to Work Program
  • You have served time in jail or prison - or are on probation or parole
  • You are pregnant or a parent
  • You are homeless
  • You are currently or were in foster care or the custody of the Office of Children and Family Services
  • You are a veteran
  • You are the daughter or son of a parent who is currently in jail or prison, or has been within the past two years
  • You are the daughter or son of a parent who is collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits
  • You live in public housing or receive housing assistance such as a Section 8 voucher
  • You have another risk factor not identified above

You Must Certify to Participate

Apply online or by mail. Applications are due December 31, 2020 for program year 2020.


Certify online

Certify by Mail: Download Mail-in PDF

The Department will accept applications faxed or sent via U.S. mail from youth with little or no access to a computer, but will not accept applications submitted for youth by a business or tax consultant. 

Once You Are Certified

If you're ready to look for work, check the Job Bank for openings. You can locate jobs in your area by typing in your city or zip code in the "Locations" tab, which can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the web page. At that time, if you see job openings of interest, you should send an email message indicating your interest in applying for each position you see. Look for a contact name and email address for each potential employer toward the bottom of each description of the job openings.


NYS Job Bank


Don't forget to remind businesses that they can qualify for a tax credit if they hire you! Businesses must certify your employment to receive the credit.