Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, unveiled a broad multi-media advertising campaign calling on New York City’s employers to hire interns this coming summer. The first-of-its-kind campaign is designed to expand the nationally recognised Ladders for Leaders program and serves as a call to action for employers across the city to hire local homegrown talent. Ladders for Leaders, part of the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development Summer Youth Employment Program, is a competitive summer internship program that connects businesses of all sizes to local, high-achieving high school and college students.

Mayor de Blasio has made increasing access to good jobs a priority of his administration and these summer internships serve as a pipeline into NYC’s best companies. Since 2014, the program has grown from 475 to 1,538 interns, and from 92 to 475 participating employers. Using this five borough ad campaign as a recruitment tool, the city looks to build on this success by increasing the number of employers offering internships to hundreds more local students. Thirty-four percent of last summer’s interns received full-time job offers, setting hundreds of students on a successful career path and providing homegrown talent for local companies.

“With over one million students in our public schools alone, NYC is home to some of the best and brightest young minds,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our Ladders to Leaders program helps students get experience and connects companies with potential employees. We’ve already seen these internships become full-time jobs at graduation, I hope by bringing more companies into the program, the trend will continue.”

“This campaign is an important step in engaging NYC’s companies in the work of preparing the next generation for success in the workplace. We are thankful to our creative partners, Discovery Communications and Y&R, as well as all of the many companies who contributed their resources to make the campaign possible” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, “Our message is clear; New York City possesses the best and the brightest young talent and Ladders for Leaders is the way to find your next employee.”

The print and broadcast ad campaign – the first of its kind geared toward employers – was driven by pro-bono public-private partnerships with Discovery Communications as part of its annual “Creating Change” pro-bono initiative, Young & Rubicam (Y&R), Clear Channel Outdoor, OUTRFRONT Media, JCDecaux and iHeart Media. It features two 30-second public service announcements and a print ad campaign. The PSAs will run across city broadcast channels (NYC Life/NYC Gov) and Taxi TV and feature alumni from Ladders. An accompanying radio spot will play on iHeart Media Online, WNYE 91.6 FM and New York City’s on-hold messaging reel. Original print and digital ads will appear via LinkNYC kiosks; Clear Channel Billboards; OUTFRONT Media Digital Billboards; and in JCDecaux bus shelters across all five boroughs.

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The Ladders for Leaders campaign is targeted to companies of all sizes in every borough to either hire students in paid, specialized summer internships or underwrite positions at other organizations. Ladders interns are comprised of NYC’s best and brightest students who have at least a 3.0 grade point average and prior work experience. Candidates are selected after a rigorous application process, receive 30 hours of pre-employment training and are guaranteed a minimum of 25 hours of work each week throughout the summer.

Growth in Ladders for Leaders was driven by The Center for Youth Employment (CYE), which was launched in May 2015 by Mayor de Blasio, to expand, improve and coordinate publicly funded programs that help prepare New York City’s young adults for steady work and career success. In spring 2016, the Center for Youth Employment launched “Industry Partnerships ” targeting businesses in five sectors: Fashion and Retail; Real Estate; Media; Hospitality and Tourism, and Business and Professional Services. Industry Partnerships are designed to bring together the public and private sectors to create meaningful pipelines into NYC’s growing industries by offering both workplace exposure, experience and training for our young adults.

In 2016, paid interns were supported in part by founding partners of the Industry Fund, including: Time Warner, Hearst, Discovery Communications, Pearson, CBS Corporation, Citi Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte, RBC Capital Markets, Guardian, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), NYC & Company Foundation, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME).

For more information on Ladders for Leaders, visit

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