Mayor Adrian Fenty has announced assignments for the 22,000 District-area youth looking to get some work experience under their belts this summer.

Participants range in age from 16 to 22, and according to the mayor’s office, approximately 68 percent of this year’s participants in the Summer Youth Employment Program are from Wards 5, 7 and 8—all of which have been hard hit by the faltering economy.

The program is being overseen by the Department of Employment Services which is working with more than 50 employers at some 1,300 work sites. Assignments range from placements in city government offices to positions in community based and the private sector.

“I am tremendously proud of the youth throughout the District who are participating in this year’s ,” Fenty said in a prepared statement. “SYEP is one of my administration’s largest and most important undertakings. Through the program, District youth have job opportunities that can make a huge difference in their careers as they get older.”

A survey from the 2009 program yielded high marks among participants. It also reveals that as a result of the program, 38 percent of the youth were working for the first.

In addition, 91 percent of them rated the program as having been a good or excellent work opportunity and 83 percent admitted that it not been for SYEP, they would not have had a job last summer.