ALBANY – An audit by the State Comptroller’s office of the New York Youth Jobs Program found that the state agencies overseeing the program, including the Departments of Labor and Tax and Finance, did not ensure that participating businesses hired only people who qualified for the program and that the tax credits they were given were accurate.
The Program’s goal is to encourage companies to hire young people in need of employment.
It was established in 2011 to provide tax credits to eligible employers when they hire unemployed or disadvantaged youth aged 16-24 who live in certain areas in New York state.
But Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli claims better oversight and verification of participants’ eligibility is needed to prevent companies getting questionable tax breaks.
The audit found several problems in the state-run program, including nearly $200,000 in questionable tax credits. Some of the companies that received the credits hired employees who were too old for the program (one was 62-years-old), while others didn’t adequately verify their employee’s eligibility.
The State Department of Labor disagreed with recommendations to tighten oversight of the program, saying it would deter youth from participating and citing limited resources.
The program is focused on hiring in Albany, Brookhaven, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, New York City, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Utica, White Plains, and Yonkers.