This guide summarizes research and real-life experiences of current youth and leadership from workforce development programs, providing an insight into what can strengthen a program and its impact on the youth being served; the guide focuses on older youth who are unemployed, underemployed, or who lack the requisite skills to maintain employment.
This guide provides insights into how workforce development programs serving disconnected older youth, also known as opportunity youth, aged 16 to 24 years, can strengthen their impacts. The guide serves as a resource for models of workforce development, highlights mentorship and holistic development strategies to reengage opportunity youth, and encourages program managers to remember that the network of resources provided are meant to build both the youth participants’ skills and that of the labor market. The guide highlights research and real-life experiences of current youth and leadership from workforce development programs, and provides an insight into what can strengthen a program along with its impact on the youth being served; it describes challenges faced by opportunity youth such as disengagement, financial or housing insecurity, familial responsibilities, and reintegration into society; it describes present and future required workforce skills; provides best practices and program inclusions, noting some relationship traits that positively impact youth; and recommends some methods for strengthening program impact.
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