Helping More Boston Youth Get Summer Jobs through MAPC-led Civic Tech Partnership

Metropolitan Area Planning Council   (Boston)

December 2017

As part of the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council worked with the City of Boston's Division of Youth Engagement and Employment (DYEE) to make the city’s summer job program more accessible to Boston’s youth.

  • The team redesigned the method behind the lottery system that matches youth to summer jobs. They also developed better inputs to the system - involving young people in deciding how youth job preferences were taken into account and incorporating public transit access.
  • They also designed a new user-centered experience for the application process and created customized views for individual youth, job-providing organizations, and the agency staff based on the same underlying data.


The resulting open source Youth Jobs Platform (see already had measurable impact on Boston’s youth employment experience. The new text-based system that notifies youth about potential jobs saved City staff about 95 workdays of time in 2017 compared to the original system of contacting the applicants by phone. These staff can now focus more time on outreach and improving the program. In the end, over 3,000 youth were hired in 2017, twenty percent more than the summer before. 



Supported locally by BNY Mellon, this project illustrates the potential of analytics and technology to improve the equity and efficiency of government programs. MAPC will apply the lessons from this project to similar ones in the future. MAPC’s Digital Services Group is currently hiring a full-stack web developer to join the team in designing and building data-driven web applications. See more at

The Civic Tech and Data Collaborative is a partnership of Code for America, Living Cities, and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The national organizations are working with seven communities around the country to understand how to harness the power of data and technology to increase efficiency, equity, and effectiveness in order to benefit the most vulnerable residents in our urban communities.

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