The Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) is a multiphase program that enrolls youth in cohorts, with a new cohort starting every four months; participants in a particular cohort move through the program together. Each community-based YAIP provider is responsible for enrolling and serving a portion of the full cohort, usually about 30 young adults each. The program’s three phases are as follows:
Phase 1: The first 2 to 4 weeks of the program (duration varies by provider) are referred to as the orientation phase, wherein youth are expected to attend daily workshops facilitated by program staff at provider offices. Youth are paid minimum wage for 25 hours per week, and workshops are typically five hours per day. The goals of orientation are to prepare participants for the workplace by providing various job-readiness and personal development activities, to lay a foundation for cohort cohesion using icebreakers and group activities, and to match participants’ interests and skills with an available and appropriate internship.
Phase 2: During the 10 to 12 weeks of this phase, youth are expected to work 20 hours a week in their internship placement and continue to earn minimum wage. Their earnings are fully subsidized. The goals of internship placements vary based on the particular needs of young people, but generally include work experience, development of soft or hard skills, career exploration, and potential transition from a subsidized internship to a permanent, unsubsidized position. Once a week, youth are required to return to the provider offices to attend five-hour educational workshops, for which they are also paid minimum wage. These workshops cover topics including job readiness, healthy living, money and time management, and conflict resolution.
Phase 3: The nine months following youths’ completion of their internship is the follow-up phase of YAIP. During this time, providers are expected to help participants secure and maintain an “outcome placement.” Outcome placements include participation in unsubsidized employment, education, training, or the military. Providers also offer support services during this phase, including housing assistance, counseling, and transportation assistance, among other types of support.