Pathways to Reconnection
Youth growing up in high poverty or economically distressed communities are disconnecting at alarming rates from the education and labor market mainstream. This disconnection has persisted for more than a decade in part because systems, policies, funding streams, and even advocacy related to adolescents and young adults are disconnected and wholly inadequate. CLASP’s work in this area focuses on how federal policy can enhance youth serving systems and funding streams to create the comprehensive supports and delivery infrastructure needed to reconnect youth to positive pathways.
To learn more about the framing of the disconnected youth challenge, view Youth Employment: New Challenges in Knowledge-based Economies.
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.
- Zane Jennings and Kisha Bird | Jan 17, 2014 The High Cost of Youth Unemployment
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant | Apr 03, 2013 Taking Aim at Gun Violence: Rebuilding Community Education and Employment Pathways
- Campaign for Youth | Oct 18, 2012 FACT SHEET: HOUSE WIA REAUTHORIZATION BILL ELIMINATES YOUTH JOBS AND TRAINING
- Linda Harris and Kisha Bird | Jul 31, 2012 CLASP Comments to U.S. Department of Education Request for Information on Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth
- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt | Mar 29, 2010 Reauthorizing ESEA: Considerations for Dropout Prevention and Recovery
- 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, Anna Cielinski, Judy Mortrude, and David Socolow | Apr 17, 2015 Promoting Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults: A Preview of Key Provisions in the Proposed WIOA Regulations
- Kisha Bird, Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant, Stephanie Schmit, Christina Walker | Feb 11, 2015 ESEA Reauthorization: Challenges & Opportunities
- CLASP's Youth Policy Team | Jun 13, 2013 Keeping Connected Youth Newsletter - June 2013