Building the Capacity of Communities
It takes a collective community response to ensure disconnected and disadvantaged youth have access to the labor market and opportunity for positive life outcomes. Through research and outreach, we identify effective cross-system community responses. And we provide opportunities for communities to learn from each other through Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth (CCRY) Network, a peer-to-peer network of workforce and youth development professionals in 15 communities across the country.
Understanding and Addressing Youth Distress
To promote greater understanding of the scope of the disconnected youth issue in high poverty, urban areas, we analyze data on indicators related to education, crime and victimization, employment, and family stability. We also highlight community examples of effective approaches to address youth distress. Read more
Feb 26, 2016 | PERMALINK »
New Report Shows Significance of Summer Youth Employment
For many young people, early work experience is a touchstone on the path to continuous gainful employment. A new JP Morgan Chase report, Expanding Economic Opportunity for Youth through Summer Jobs, highlights the benefits of strategic investments in summer employment for low-income young people and suggests strategies for connecting more youth to these opportunities, which help them build skills and earn credentials to improve long-term economic success.
Far too many youth are economically insecure. Children and young adults experience the highest levels of poverty in the United States (21.1 percent and 19.7 percent respectively). Among them, children and young adults of color are disproportionately affected. Young adults, particularly youth of color, also experience the highest levels of unemployment. Along with these disparities, summer employment has declined 37 percent for teens over the last twenty years. In 2015, just 34 percent of teens had access to these opportunities.
According to research, teens who work are 86 percent more likely to be employed in the next year and older youth are almost 100 percent more likely to be employed if they worked more than 40 weeks in the previous year. Summer employment can also contribute to reduced involvement in the juvenile and criminal justice system as well as improved school attendance and educational outcomes, especially for those at risk of dropping out.
The report identifies four key findings that could help us design sustainable, systemic solutions that expand economic opportunity through summer employment, including:
- Boosting skills-building for youth through scaling up models that emphasize year-round employment and connections to career education training and work experiences and other technical training opportunities.
- Expanding and strengthening private sector engagement.
- Expanding and tailoring services to youth who experience unique barriers to employment including youth of color and opportunity youth.
- Improving coordination with local workforce systems.
There are many challenges to connecting youth to quality summer work experiences, including funding, having adequate systems and infrastructure, and business and industry engagement. However, as highlighted in the report, many communities are pioneering innovative solutions that help serve young people. Through leadership and sustained investment from elected officials, the private sector, policymakers at all levels of government, and—most importantly—youth themselves, we can realize this pathway to economic opportunity.
- Kisha Bird, Anna Cielinski, Judy Mortrude, and David Socolow | Apr 17, 2015 Promoting Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults: A Preview of the Proposed WIOA Regulations
- Zane Jennings and Kisha Bird | Jan 17, 2014 The High Cost of Youth Unemployment
- Linda Harris, Director Youth Policy | Apr 10, 2013 Reconnecting Our Youth - A Scan of Policy Opportunities to Improve Economic Success for Vulnerable Youth
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Apr 03, 2013 Taking Aim at Gun Violence: Rebuilding Community Education and Employment Pathways
- Linda Harris | Feb 14, 2013 Building Pathways to Postsecondary Labor Market Success for Low Income Young Men of Color: A community intervention strategy
- Kisha Bird and Nia West-Bey | Apr 21, 2016 Every Student Succeeds Act Primer: High School Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth
- Andrea Amaechi | Mar 31, 2016 Building Systems And Pathways For Disconnected Youth
- Kisha Bird, Marcie Foster, and Evelyn Ganzglass | Sep 29, 2014 New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults: Key Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Dec 04, 2013 Empty Seats: Addressing the Problem of Unfair School Discipline For Boys of Color
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant & Robert Phillips | Dec 04, 2013 Improving Supports for Youth of Color Traumatized by Violence