Supervisor Training: Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative

Welcome and thank you for participating in Mayor Murray's Youth Employment Initiative


Overview of Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative

A Message from the Mayor


Welcome and thank you for supporting the youth of our community!

As you may already know, youth unemployment rates in our community – and across the US -  are oftentimes more than double that of adults. These numbers are even worse for low-income youth and youth of color. As a youth internship host site, you are helping us to disrupt these trends by giving our young people an opportunity to explore new careers and develop valuable job skills.

I started this initiative because I wanted the City to help young people connect to opportunities often out of their reach. Internships are one key component of this endeavor. They provide foundational skills and experiences that not only benefit the young person, but also help to create a more sustainable future for our entire community.

Seattle is a national leader in youth opportunity. Together with our private, non-profit, and public sector partners, we are committed to helping our young people become an active part of our vibrant, growing economy. While this work experience may not be your intern’s final destination, it is an introduction to the variety of career paths available to them here in Seattle.

Again, thank you for being part of this work and making Seattle a city of opportunity for all members of our community.


Edward B. Murray Mayor, City of Seattle

Program Goals

​The Youth Employment Initiative aims to:   

  1. Provide employment training to youth (short-term)
  2. Help youth develop and build job readiness skills through supervisor's coaching (mid-term)
  3. Increase high school graduation rates and General Education Development (GED) Certification with a post-secondary pathway to the workforce (long-term)

Why are internships important? 

Internships provide youth and young adults the opportunity to explore and understand a variety of career options through practical experiences, helping them to understand the education and skills required to make informed career path decisions.

A recent report by JP Morgan Chase found that “young people – especially low-income youth and young people of color – face diminished opportunities to gain summer work experience,” and “employers are increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce…These heightened expectations mean it is essential for young people to obtain early work experience and develop skills that allow them to compete for the jobs of today and tomorrow.” The report continues to note that “local summer youth employment programs are beginning to provide pathways to gainful employment for more young people, especially those from low-income families” (

Employers like you are pivotal in providing youth these unique experiences of participating in a professional workplace - experiences that help them improve their future job prospects by expanding their networks and developing their skills.


Internship Details

The Mayor's Goal is for Seattle to provide 3,000 paid internships for young people ages 14-24 in 2017

By hosting an intern this summer, you are a key partner in achieving this work. This year's summer internships begin Wednesday, July 5 and end on Friday, August 15.

Employers and supervisors are key partners in creating transformational work-based learning experiences to support youth and young adults in:

  • Understanding what types of jobs are available in that industry, field, or career.
  • Learning and developing job skills relevant to the workplace.
  • Connecting to various pathways and networks to enter that industry, field, or career.
  • Understanding the education and skills requirements in that industry, field, or career.


Population Served

Our young people need opportunity. Despite having one of the strongest economies in recent history - the Seattle area is facing rising levels of income inequality and our youth, specifically youth of color, are falling behind. This income inequality not only negatively impacts important milestones like high-school completion rates, but it also impacts the long-term success of our youth. 

In order to meet this community need, the Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative partners with youth employment training programs across the city, whose primary mission is to serve young people who face barriers to employment. As an employer partner in this program, you are supporting a community-wide commitment to improve educational experiences and learning outcomes for our historically underserved youth and young adults, with the goal of eliminating opportunity gaps and providing the access and support that every young person needs to succeed. 

The youth intern placed at your site will be affiliated with a Youth Serving Agency – a local non-profit or program focused on training and supporting youth in their career development. These agencies provide ongoing services to your intern before, during, and after their internship with your organization. They include:

  • Juma Ventures
  • Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP)
  • YouthCare
  • YouthForce

Internship Supervisors will understand roles and responsibilities of Supervisors and Youth Counselors

Role Definitions: Supervisors and Youth Development Counselors


  • Provide day-to-day support to interns
  • Give clear, detailed instructions on intern's roles and responsibilities
  • Provide feedback that is ongoing, timely, and specific
  • Orient interns to the worksite
  • Encourage youth to think about post-secondary pathways
  • Help youth develop job-readiness skills

Youth Development Counselors:

  • Provide big picture support to interns
  • Prepare and train youth for the internship
  • Mediate disputes between supervisors and interns
  • Encourage youth to think about post-secondary pathways
  • Help youth develop job readiness skills

Youth Development Counselor Defined

Each intern will be assigned a Youth Development Counselor (YDC) to help interns successfully complete their internships. 

Youth Development Counselors provide support to youth and their supervisors. Youth Counselors have already:

  • Assessed each youth's capabilities and preparedness to find the best internship match for both youth and the internship host site.
  • Trained youth in topics such as: financial counseling, human resources, and time sheets, as well as soft skills like first impressions, communication, problem solving, and taking initiative in the workplace. 
  • Provided supportive services to youth - transportation, worksite materials, etc. 

Youth Counselors will continue to support and monitor youth throughout the duration of their internship. The are the supervisor's first point of contact for any questions, concerns, or advice during the internship. Youth Counselors will support both the intern(s) and the supervisor with any challenges, disputes, and issues during the internship.

Please let us know if you do not know the Youth Development Counselor assigned to your site. Contact information for all counselors can be found at the end of this training, and in your supervisor handbook. 


Practice how you would leverage your Youth Counselor.

For the following questions, select who is responsible for the activity described: the Supervisor (you), the Youth Counselor, Both, or Neither.


Who helps create a smooth workplace transition for the intern?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who provides written and/or verbal directions to the intern for each task?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

If there is a dispute between you and the intern, who helps mediate the issue?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should act as a role model for interns?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should provide transportation to/from the worksite in their personal vehicle?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should recommend disciplinary actions for interns?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should give ongoing, specific, and timely feedback?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should help interns think about post-secondary pathways?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who helps the intern(s) develop job readiness skills?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Who should buy lunch for interns?

  • Supervisor
  • Youth Counselor
  • Neither

Internship Supervisors will feel more confident about how to effectively supervise an intern

The internship is a mutually beneficial experience for both the youth and the supervisor!

Intern Benefits:

  • Skill-based work experience
  • Meaningful, relevant, realistic, and positive work experiences
  • Developmental feedback on work skills: ongoing, timely, and specific
  • Link to post-secondary pathways - Counselors are primarily responsible for discussing the education and resources youth need for a job, although Supervisors can and should share their own pathway.


Supervisor Benefits: 

  • Extra help, assistance
  • Management skill development (resume builder, professional development)
  • City of Seattle Department employees get access to supervisor training*
  • Impart skills to an intern seeking this opportunity
  • Knowledge exchange 
  • Pipeline of future workforce

*City supervisor training with SDHR is only available to people managers in supervisor/manager roles with direct reports. By acting as a Youth Intern Supervisor, individual contributors seeking to expand on their professional development opportunities will be able to attend supervisor training, regardless of whether they are currently in a supervisor/manager role with the City.

Success Indicators for an Intern

Upon completion of the internship, the intern should be able to:

  1. Describe new skills s/he learned or developed
  2. Identify behaviors that made him or her successful (attendance, professionalism, attitude, etc.)
  3. Outline potential post-secondary pathways to pursue

Begin thinking about the ways in which you can support your intern(s) to learn new skills, behaviors, and pathways to education and/or careers:

  • What skills and behaviors are important for this internship?  
    • Examples: listening, customer service, computer literacy, time management, flexibility, showing commitment, attendance.
  • How can you reinforce these skills with your intern(s)?
    • Examples: weekly check-ins. written tasks / instructions that specifically address and define a new skill.
  • What guidance can you or your colleagues provide that will help your intern(s) identify potential pathways?
    • Examples: Panel discussions, college/financial aid application assistance, connection to resources, ideas for future internships or paid-work experience.

Success Indicators for Supervisors

Upon completion of the internship, the Youth Supervisor should be able to:

  1. Identify a body of work completed by the intern
  2. Describe what they did to provide a meaningful experience for the intern
  3. Speak to what personal leadership/management skills they developed while supervising the intern

Start thinking about how you will structure your internship.

  • Is there an end product? Is there a project or skill identified at the beginning that your intern(s) will complete?
  • What level did the intern(s) come in at?
  • What can you do to help prepare your intern(s) for future work/internships?
  • What skills are you hoping to improve?

How does the Youth Counselor Support You as a Supervisor?

Youth counselors can help...

  • Mediate disputes between you and your intern
  • Troubleshoot work site concerns
  • Provide job readiness workshops for your interns 
  • Monitor work site performance
  • Partner with you on disciplinary action when performance issues persist

Dayna is scheduled to come to work at 9am, but she comes in at 9:30 am instead. Dayna has not informed her supervisor, Lila. Lila has already spoken to Dayna on two other occasions about her being late and not calling to give notice. What should Lila do?

  • Meet with Dayna to discuss the pattern and impact of showing up late and not notifying her supervisor
  • Set expectations for minimizing tardiness and notifying her supervisor
  • If Dayna doesn't follow action steps, inform the Youth Counselor who will take the next steps.
  • Fire Dayna
  • Ignore the problem, Dayna must have a good reason
  • Give Dayna a task that doesn't matter when she comes to the worksite
  • Ask Dayna to share suggestions for changing this behavior

Tim shows up wearing flip-flops and headphones. The volume is so loud that he misses phone calls. His supervisor, Rob, informs him of his inappropriate dress and behavior. The next day Tim dresses and behaves in a similar way. What should Rob do?

  • Fire Tim. Rob has already talked to Tim about this clothes and headphones.
  • Meet with Tim to go over the employee handbook/policies about appropriate attire.
  • Set expectations for job duties and work environments
  • Buy Tim new clothes
  • Take his headphones away
  • If the problem continues, contact the Youth Counselor

Ahmed is at his desk and seems bored after completing his tasks. His supervisor found him chatting online and surfing the web for the past two hours. What should his supervisor do in this situation/

  • Fire Ahmed
  • Meet with Ahmed to go over his work plan and ensure he has enough tasks.
  • Ask Ahmed to come to you/a supervisor when he needs more tasks and/or clarification .
  • Remind Ahmed of workplace and internet policy.
  • Ask someone else to take over Ahmed's tasks.
  • Find someone else to supervise Ahmed.

My intern didn't call to let me know s/he wasn't coming in to work today. He is fired!

Is this response...

  • Too Tight
  • Too Loose
  • Just Right

My intern isn't following through and completing assigned tasks within the requested timeframe... They probably just forgot. No problem!

Is this response...

  • Too Tight
  • Too Loose
  • Just Right

Your intern went home yesterday because s/he wasn't feeling well, but didn't call. I talked to him/her about my expectations for being absent or late. We discussed the steps my intern will take in the future.

This response is...

  • Too Tight
  • Too Loose
  • Just Right

Internship Supervisors will have the tools and resources necessary to create a successful and meaningful internship

Two Factors that Affect Performance

Proficiency: The knowledge, ability and aptitude of an individual with regards to a specific skill.

Motivation: An individual's interest in and enthusiasm for doing a specific task. Confidence can significantly influence a person's motivation to complete a task. 

Four Stages of Skill Development

We go through these stages whenever we learn something new. It might take us 30 minutes to go through the whole process (learning to tell time) or 5 years (learning a language).

D1 Unconscious Incompetence: You don’t know what you don’t know. Motivation is high, but proficiency is low. This is where you want to provide our interns with both verbal and written instructions.

D2 Conscious Incompetence: You get your hands into the clay, and suddenly, you start to realize how much you don’t know.  In this stage, skill is still fairly low and motivation has dropped as you realize how far you have to go to master a new skill. This is the zone where many people get discouraged and quit.

D3 Conscious Competence: Once you gain skill with a given task, your motivation is initially low.  You have some skill, but are a bit unsure and lack confidence

D4 Unconscious Competence: We’re now a peak performer of the skill in question. We don’t even think about it.  It’s second nature. Our motivation is high and our proficiency is high. 

Our skill development levels vary within our jobs. We may be at the D4 level for 70% of the skills needed for our job, D3 for 20%, D2 for 5%, D1 for 5%.

Growth Mindset Video

The Power of Yet, Carol Dweck   Movie Link

Keep this in mind as you delegate tasks to your intern. 

Best Practices for Delegating Tasks to Your Intern

When giving work to your intern(s), ask yourself:

  • How can I demonstrate or model this task?
  • Who might they job shadow or watch perform the task?
  • How can I check to ensure they understand the assignment?
  • How can I provide a safety net

Examples include:

  • Both written and verbal instructions
  • Daily meetings (can be as quick as 5 minutes)
  • Providing feedback early-on (don't wait until the end of the internship!)
  • Introducing your intern to other employees who can help with the task

Professional Development and Learning Opportunities

What other tasks can I assign to my intern to help with their professional development? Your intern can:

  • Conduct informational interviews with internal staff
  • Write a blog post or article for company newsletter
  • Update and improve his/her resume with feedback from the supervisor and other professionals at your organization
  • Write professional bio and articulate professional skills developed in the internship (can be used in a LinkedIn profile, on company website, in future cover letter, future applications)
  • Survey customers, clients, or community about a topic relevant to the young person
  • Research industry related news article, facilitate a 10-minute discussion 
  • Attend trainings or webinars, have the intern summarize or lead a discussion afterwards 
  • Prepare presentation about internship experience for staff at the end of the internship

Checklist for Supervisors

Once your intern(s) arrives: 

  • Conduct an intake, orientation and/or employee training
  • Introduce and your intern(s) to other employees at your organization
  • Review company policies
  • Provide an office/facility tour for your intern(s)
  • All supervisors need to sign a Youth Supervisor Agreement of Understanding. If a new supervisor takes over, they will need to sign a new Agreement of Understanding as well. These documents can be found at the end of this training. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours can interns work?

  • For sites receiving a subsidy for their internships: Interns can work up to 25 hrs/week up to a total of 150 hours. Sites hosting an intern who is receiving credit from Seattle Public Schools may have permission to work up to 180 hours if verified by Seattle Youth Employment Program. 
  • For sites paying their interns directly: Interns can work up to 40 hours per week over the summer, up to 8 hours per day. If your intern is under the age of 18, please review minor work regulations:

Are interns allowed to work weekends if needed?

  • Yes, as long as it doesn't exceed the allotted 25 hours/week or 150 hours total as outlined above. Hours worked on the weekends can also be considered volunteering and/or can be applied to service learning hours (required for high school completion). The arrangement will need to be made between the training site and the intern.

Can interns work past the program end date?

  • Interns are not allowed to work after the program end date. If you are happy with your intern's performance, placement extensions will have to be arranged separately with your company/organization.

Are interns required to wear ID badges?

  • Interns are only required to an ID badge according to your company's policy. 

When will time sheets be submitted?

  • If the intern(s) is on your payroll, the intern will follow your company policies. If the intern(s) is on the City of Seattle payroll please follow up with the Youth Counselor.

​What happens if the Internship Supervisor is out?

  • A back-up supervisor will need to be in place in case there are situations in which the primary supervisor is out or is unable to provide the appropriate supervisor to interns. 

What happens if there is a change in Internship Supervisor during the internship?

  • If the supervisor leaves during the internship, please contact your youth counselor immediately. Another staff member will need to take over Internship Supervisor responsibilities. 

Can training sites assign job duties that were not previously determined and are not listed on the job description? 

  • Yes. Interns, like employees, can occasionally be asked to perform duties outside of the normal scope of work. This is fine as long as the task is not contrary to the agreed training experience and does not dominate the workload. 

​What if the intern(s) requires more supervision than training sites can provide? 

  • In cases where interns require a higher level of supervision, please notify the Youth Counselor that works at your site. Together you can identify appropriate steps to take with your intern(s), including providing coaching, disciplinary action, encouragement, etc. 

What is the disciplinary process for an intern?

  • Disciplinary action will take the form of the following:
  1. Verbal counseling
  2. Written warning
  3. Suspension without pay/termination
  • If there are discipline issues, we ask that supervisors, counselors and other staff work together to decide on the type of disciplinary actions to be taken based on the seriousness and frequency of the offense. Please communicate with your assigned Youth Counselor if you feel disciplinary action needs to occur. 

Who is liable for reporting and coverage of on the job injuries?

  • Interns are insured by the City of Seattle. The Youth Supervisor is required to document any on-the-job incidents and report them immediately to the Youth Counselor. Supervisors can also call 206-386-1375 if the Counselor cannot be reached.

Can Supervisors take pictures of interns and have them published in print and/or electronically using his or her full name? 

  • Please contact your Youth Counselor so that he or she can verify that your intern(s) have signed the Photo Release Agreement. 



Supervisor Next Steps

Supervisor Handbook

Please download, print, and review your 2017 supervisor handbook

The Supervisor Handbook can be found online here.

Having trouble downloading the document? Email to receive a copy via email.

Required Paperwork for Supervisors

Before your internship can start, supervisors must sign and return two documents: 

1. Worksite Agreement - download, sign, and return via email to

2. Supervisor Agreement - download, sign, and return via email to

Is your intern under 18?

Minor Work Permits  (Required for Interns Under 18)

Is your intern under the age of 18? If so, your organization is required to obtain a Minor Work Permit from Washington State. Here's what you need to do before July 5:

1. Obtain or renew a Minor Work Permit: confirm your organization's existing permit is valid through August 15th. You can renew or apply for a new permit online at Note that this process can take up to 3 weeks.

2. Sign a Parent Authorization Form for your intern and return to your youth counselor. The youth counselor will provide you with a signed copy of the Parent Authorization form to keep on file throughout the duration of your internship.

Your intern will not be able to start on July 5 if these steps are not completed! The City of Seattle will verify your organization has acquired a minor work permit before your intern may begin working.

Next Steps

  • Confirm Start Date, Arrival Time, and Location with your intern and youth counselor.
  • Wednesday July 5: Internships start! If you need your intern to start on a different date, please contact your intern and youth counselor immediately. 
  • Mark your calendar for the Capstone Event on August 11, from 9 - 12 PM. More details will be sent via email.
  • Questions? Call Educurious at 206-402-4489.

Thank you for participating in the 2017 Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative

We look forward to working with you this summer. Educurious and the City of Seattle Youth Employment Program is here to support you as a supervisor. If you have any questions throughout the summer, your youth counselor can be reached via phone or email.