Youth Web Design

Seattle small businesses can now apply for the summer and fall cohorts of the Youth Web Design program. The Youth Web Design program will support 50 small businesses and 50 youth through two cohorts in 2022.

Applications from small businesses for the 2022 summer cohort will be accepted through May 31, 2022. All applications received after May 31, 2022, will be considered for the 2022 fall cohort.  

APPLY HERE

Seattle Office of Economic Development is partnering with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) to expand the Youth Web Design program. Through the Youth Web Design program, Seattle small businesses without a business website or limited online presence, work with local youth to design modern websites that improve and expand their online presence and business operations. The program also covers all website expenses for the first year, and business owners are taught technical skills needed to maintain and update their websites long term.

The program also serves Seattle youth — teaching industry standard skills including HTML, CSS and JAVA. Participating youth will earn technical certification for the coding skills they learn, receive paid stipends and will soon earn Career and Technical Education (CTE) credits through Seattle Public Schools.

Small businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Business and occupation (B&O) taxes must be paid in full.
  • Have City of Seattle Business License.
  • Business has a physical location (including food trucks and home businesses).
  • Cannot be a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • Located in Seattle, WA.
  • Do not currently have a business website or website is significantly outdated and business is unable to perform necessary updates.

 

For students:

  • The summer cohort will run from July 6, 2022-Aug. 12, 2022, at Garfield High School, serving 25 small business and 25 youth from any Seattle High School.
  • The fall cohort will serve an additional 25 small businesses and will support an additional 25 youth from Sept. 7, 2022-Jan. 31, 2023.
  • Selected business owners and/or business representatives must also participate in mandatory meetings to coordinate with selected youth designing their business’ website.

The Youth Web Design program pilot was launched in 2020 to respond to two emerging needs.

First, as a result of COVID-19 and immediate public health protocols that required social distancing and stay-at-home orders, businesses pivoted their operations and relied on online tools including websites and social media to remain open and connect with customers. Businesses that were without websites and digital tools prior to the pandemic were further impacted economically and faced higher barriers to getting online.

Secondly, paid employment and internship opportunities for youth were instantly reduced or eliminated, creating an economic crisis for young people who relied on these opportunities to generate income.

In response to these economic and social challenges, OED and ULMS developed this pilot program to educate, train and employ young people, and support small businesses’ ability to stay open, operate in our virtual environment, and develop sustainable digital tools for immediate and long-term stability, particularly Black- and immigrant-owned businesses. To date, the program supported getting 28 businesses online and connected with digital tools for long-term stability and trained more than 20 youth.

Given the initial success of this program, OED and ULMS are planning to launch a future paid training program that will equip young people with social media and marketing skills that will be complimentary to the coding and web design skills taught in the Youth Web Design program.

For questions about this program and corporate partnership opportunities, please contact OED Technology and Creative Workforce Advocate Anisa Khoshbakhtian at anisa.khosh@seattle.gov.

For questions about student participation, requirements and additional program benefits for student families, please contact ULMS Education Director Robert Jones at rjones@urbanleague.org.

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities.

The City of Seattle encourages everyone to participate in its programs and activities. For additional questions, translation or interpretation, technical assistance, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats or accessibility information, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.