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Integrating Banking Access into Summer Youth Employment Programs

Summer Jobs Connect Impact

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Summer Jobs Connect as a City Catalyst

For many cities, Summer Jobs Connect was the first time youth workforce programs had included financial empowerment strategies; most cities therefore stretched to develop new partnerships and collaborate across agencies. This further led to broader financial empowerment programmatic integrations beyond SYEP.

Most directly, city partners changed their SYEP infrastructures to ensure the sustainability of financial empowerment strategies, meaningfully changing the way SYEP services are delivered. To encourage direct deposit enrollment, cities made changes to the underlying processes that support the SYEP, including application, enrollment, and payroll. They also used technology to support financial empowerment programmatic elements; for example, cities built banking and savings behavioral prompts into their online SYEP application and certification processes.

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SJC Youth Voices

SJC participants and partners share the program’s impact

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Why is a Banking Account Important?

Having a bank account allows me to manage my money from my phone. The bank is always there to help. I opened an account so I could save for college. By usingg a bank account, I have learned the power of compound interest!”

Lizzy, Chicago SJC Participant

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Financial Institution Partnerships

Access to safe, affordable banking accounts is a critical piece of the SJC model. Guided by our national Bank On work and designed to meet the special considerations of this program, the CFE Fund created the SJC Youth Account Priorities to provide guidance on key priorities when partnering with financial institutions to offer transactional accounts for participants. Across the country, there are more than 50 banks and credit unions offering safe accounts that meet these priorities.

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