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Enhancing Racial Equity by Partnering with Youth

Last week we welcomed 20 youth interns to the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) team. The interns are part of the Seattle Youth Employment Program, a City of Seattle program that promotes work readiness and introduces young people ages 16-22 years old to career opportunities through paid internships for young people in our community who are from low-income households and communities that experience racial, social, and economic disparities.

Participating in the SYEP is an important part of SPU’s commitment to enhancing racial equity throughout our city. Since 2017, SPU has hired, supervised, and mentored more than 50 SYEP interns across all branches and lines of business. Our goal is to hire at least 100 interns through 2021.

This year’s interns will work about 20 hours a week, exploring different career opportunities, participating in lunch and learns, and taking weekly field trips to SPU facilities like the Water Quality Lab and the Cedar River Watershed. Most importantly, they will spend valuable time supporting one another as peers, developing their skills, building relationships, and expanding their social and professional networks.

Learn more on the Seattle Youth Employment Program website.

SYEP Interns meet with SPU General Manager Mami Hara on their first day of work.

A past SYEP intern group visits the Cedar River Watershed.