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Deals & Dealmakers

Real estate industry hires record number of summer interns

New York’s real estate community has helped the city place some 600 young adults in high profile paid summer internships so far this year.

Smart kids from across the city are getting the chance to work in some of New York’s leading industries through the Ladders for Leaders program.

Run by the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), the program was launched in May 2015 by Mayor Bill de Blasio to expand, improve and co-ordinate publicly-funded programs that help prepare young adults for steady work and career success.

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Rudin Management Company and Tishman Speyer are among several major partners of the Industry Fund that supports the program, which has grown from 89 participating employers to  600, and from 475 interns in 2014 to over 1,600 projected for this summer.


“Providing valuable professional experiences early increases the likelihood for success,” said Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. “We are proud to participate in this important initiative and feel strongly that Ladders for Leaders is a rewarding experience for both the intern and the employer.”

“Ladders for Leaders continues to be a successful program that gives young people opportunities to gain valuable, career-building experience,” said John Banks, President of the Real Estate Board of New York. “Our participating members have welcomed the opportunity to support this important initiative that also helps companies fill talent gaps and discover new potential.”


To qualify for the internship program, school and college applicants must have a 3.0 grade point average, undergo a rigorous review process and receive 30 hours of training prior to their internship. They are guaranteed a minimum of 25 hours of work per week in the six week program.

Thirty-four percent of last summer’s  interns received full-time job offers, setting hundreds of students on a successful career path and providing homegrown expertise for NYC companies.

Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships said the aim of the Ladders for Leaders program is two-fold: “To put as many youths as we can on the road to success by connecting them to employers in the City’s most thriving industries and to provide employers with a strong, homegrown workforce.”

David Sable, Global CEO of marketing communications company, Y&R, and a participant in the program, called it a win-win for everyone.

“I began my 40+ years in the advertising industry as a summer intern, which led me to become a trainee at Y&R. I can say without hesitation that my first internship truly propelled me on my career path,” said Sable.

“Internship programs, done properly, are a tremendous way to learn by doing. In my youth, I was awed by the generosity of my mentors, who not only trusted me with responsibilities far above my experience, but also asked for and listened to my opinions too. And now it’s our turn. For more than 10 years, we have eagerly accepted interns from Ladders for Leaders. They are always bright, curious and hard-working, and I can say with conviction that we get as much out of the program as our interns do.”

For more information on Ladders for Leaders, visit

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