Effective Youth Employment Service Delivery
Low-income communities face high rates of youth unemployment and high school dropout. To meet the immense need in these areas of high youth distress, communities need a comprehensive approach to getting youth educated and prepared for the labor market. This approach should create a youth employment system that brings together all the various youth-serving entities to strategically serve the large numbers of youth in need. To create this system, a community needs to invest time and resources in the careful design and sound implementation, and utilize data to benchmark progress and assess quality. Additionally, a community should ensure that specific components are present that are essential for a well-rounded program. The system needs to have a broad range of options, considerable depth in support services, and the flexibility to connect youth to the most appropriate set of services. The system should offer integrated education, skills training, and work experience leading to secondary and/or occupational credentials; postsecondary education and training opportunities; applied skills such as teamwork, leadership, oral and written communication, and ethical responsibility.
Several low-income communities have worked for a number of years to develop such a cross-system approach to the youth challenge. Drawing from their experiences, CLASP has identified some of the common elements of a successful youth employment services delivery system. Our goal is to provide examples of effective planning and implementation of this comprehensive approach in communities, and to highlight the successes achieved as a result. The elements of effective practice below each contain examples from various communities. Profiles of the many innovative efforts in particular communities may also be found in the "Putting Youth to Work" series.
Elements of Effective Program Delivery Elements of Effective System Building