Atlanta's Summer Youth Employment Program is part of Mayor Andre Dickens' Year of the Youth.

Atlanta's Summer Youth Employment Program is part of Mayor Andre Dickens' Year of the Youth.

Credit: Photo courtesy city of Atlanta

The Atlanta City Council allocated $2 million to fund this year’s city-sponsored summer youth employment program.

The council voted Monday to amend the city’s fiscal year 2024 budget to allocate the money to the Summer Employment Youth Program (SYEP), an initiative launched by Mayor Andre Dickens in 2022 as part of his Year of the Youth. The legislation was sponsored by Councilmember Andrea Boone.

The youth employment program leverages partnerships in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to employ Atlanta youth who can earn higher-than-average wages while learning valuable work and life skills, according to the city.

“The Summer Youth Employment Program helps our young people come into their own by creating paid opportunities that provide work experience and life skills that can help prepare them for the future,” Dickens said in a news release. 

“Sometimes, young people just need to know someone is in their corner and today, thanks to Councilmember Boone and the entire City Council, Atlanta is saying, ‘That begins with us,'” Dickens said.

Highlights of the 2023 SYEP include:

  • 5,418 youth registered for the program;
  • 157 employers registered for the program;
  • The average hourly wage was $17.27.

A report on the 2023 SYEP is online here. For more information on how to sign up for the program or to learn how to become a hiring partner, visit


In other action on Monday:

The city council approved amending the FY2024 budget to transfer $500,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create the Atlanta Community Energy Fund (ACEF).

The new fund will support clean energy projects and strategies identified within the Clean Energy Plan aimed at reducing energy burdens on households within the city of Atlanta, according to a news release. The legislation was sponsored by Councilmembers Liliana Bakhtiari and Alex Wan.

The Clean Energy Plan was approved by the city council in 2019. Last year, the city relaunched its Clean Energy Advisory Board. 

“Close to 50,000 households are energy burdened within our city, and we are constantly searching for ways to help,” Dickens said in a news release. “We are following a strategic roadmap to reduce overall energy consumption and emissions within the city’s buildings and the Atlanta Community Energy Trust Fund will allow for innovative solutions and swifter action as we focus on energy efficiency solutions.”

The fund will be managed by the Office of Sustainability and Resilience. The new ACEF will be funded in the future from various sources, including city appropriations, revenue generated from the sale of renewable energy credits and federal funding opportunities, according to the news release.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta.