Young people who participated in Boston’s summer jobs program last year showed greater job readiness skills, higher academic aspirations, and more positive attitudes towards their communities, according to a study released this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Of the participants, African-American males showed the greatest increase in aspirations toward higher education.

Employment experiences early in life are especially important for low-income and minority youth, Northeastern University researcher Alicia Sasser Modestino told the Boston Globe. Modestino co-authored the study with Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) Director Trinh Nguyen. They next plan to analyze three-year outcomes to determine whether summer jobs programs can make a long-term impact on participants and their contributions to the workforce.

The OWD recently received a technical grant to study the feasibility of pairing the city’s successful Summer Youth Employment Program with an innovative contracting model designed to leverage more funding for high-performing programs.

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