The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) governs federal workforce training programs. Under WIOA, states are required to spend 75 percent of funds on out-of-school youth. That’s a significant increase over the previous law. States should seize the moment to develop innovative programs that help young people succeed economically.
Young people need education, leadership opportunities, and career and life guidance to successfully transition to adulthood. Yet 5 million youth ages 18 to 24 are unattached to school and work. These youth, who are disproportionately youth of color, experience lifelong consequences, including negative health outcomes and reduced earnings potential. That’s why CLASP advocates for federal, state, and local policies that prevent youth from dropping out and reconnect them to education and work. When we invest in young people, we break the cycle of poverty, spark our economy, and strengthen our nation’s future.