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DYCD Department of Youth and Community Development

Ladders for Leaders

Hire summer interns for your company by connecting with exceptional high school and college students.

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Through Ladders for Leaders, employers can hire high school and college students for internships. Interns are paid directly by the employer.

Our nationally recognized program offers outstanding students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in New York City.

What benefits are there for my company to hire through this service?

By hiring Ladders for Leaders interns, employers are matched with job-ready applicants that our program has vetted and trained. Students undergo a competitive application process and receive 30 hours of pre-employment training.

Partnering with us also enhances your company’s internship classes and entry-level talent pipelines:

  • Sixty-five percent of our students go on to work professionally in the same industry as their Ladders internship.
  • More than a third of students are offered an opportunity to stay with the company or organization.

Companies and organizations that do not have existing internship programs can partner with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development to co-design new projects and roles.

How soon can this service connect me to talent?

Interested employers will be contacted within two to three weeks of submitting their application. Students begin their pre-employment training in the winter prior to the internship and typically interview with potential employers between March and May. Internships can begin as soon as the student has completed their school year.

Recruitment timelines can be accelerated based on employer needs. Ladders for Leaders employers make all final hiring decisions.

What skills and credentials will talent have?

Students are required to have past work or volunteer experience to apply for the program, and all interns participate in 30 hours of pre-employment training. Students are often top of their class and use their summer internship as an opportunity to find their first entry-level job. Many Ladders for Leaders alumni continue to work with their summer employer, and several oversee their company’s internship programs.

What occupations does this service train for?

Ladders for Leaders interns can work in the following occupations:

  • Architecture and Engineering
  • Art, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media
  • Business and Financial Operations
  • Community and Social Services
  • Computer and Mathematical
  • Healthcare Support
  • Legal
  • Life, Physical, and Social Sciences
  • Management
  • Office and Administrative Support
  • Sales and Related Roles

How can this service meet my company's needs?

Ladders for Leaders can benefit employers who are interested in the following:

  • Hiring for 1-10 positions
  • Hiring for 11-100 positions
  • Hosting interns
  • Hosting or participating in job fairs
  • Hosting workplace tours
  • Offering mentorship or coaching
  • Participating in industry-specific events
  • Partnering to build a talent pipeline

Is my company eligible for this service?

Employers large and small can participate in Ladders for Leaders, including those in the following industries:

  • Business and finance
  • Healthcare
  • Technology

Interns are paid directly by the employer, who is required to provide at least 150 hours of paid internship for each student hired. Most Ladders for Leaders internships are between 25-40 hours per week for 6-10 weeks from June to August.

Internships can take place across the five boroughs or remotely. Employers outside of New York City may be able to host participants if they can support them with transportation.

How do I connect to hire?

Visit or call 800-246-4646 to learn more and get in touch with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development.

Ladders for Leaders is provided by NYC Department of Youth & Community Development.

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