The Business Council supports S.4762, a measure that would amend the eligibility provisions of the New York Youth Works Tax Credit, which was recently extended to cover 2014 through 2018.
This program is designed to bring at-risk youth into the private sector workforce. Under its provisions, employers in specified areas* of the state can qualify for the tax credit by hiring at-risk or low-income youth age 16-24 (who were previously unemployed) for a minimum of 20 hours/week. The employer receives $250/month for the first six months that each individual is employed, and $500/month after an additional six month time period.
This program is available to full-time students. However, working 20 hours/week could impede a high school or college student's ability to allot adequate time for academics.
To address this concern, the legislation would reduce the minimum hours a week an employee needed to work from 20 hours to 10 hours in order for the employer to qualify for the tax credit. Otherwise, this legislation does not affect the overall cost of the tax credit program.
The Business Council supports initiatives that foster college and career readiness. Statistics show that a high percentage of students entering college need remediation, and many lack the “soft skills”—working in groups, critical thinking, etc.—that are necessary for success in the work world. Part-time jobs play a vital role in the education continuum, and can help provide our younger population with real world experience. This legislation would continue to provide employers with a tax credit for their efforts to hire at-risk youth, while providing a balance to ensure that students are able to manage working and engaging in coursework at the high school or college level.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports approval of S.4762.
*New York, Mount Vernon, Buffalo, Yonkers, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady, Albany, New Rochelle, Utica, Hempstead, Brookhaven and White Plains