NLC to Offer Technical Assistance on Reengaging Disconnected Youth through Economic Recovery Efforts
Becerra, Carlos A., Nation's Cities Weekly
Municipal leaders seeking to reengage disconnected youth through the use of economic recovery resources are encouraged to apply for a new technical assistance project sponsored by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. City officials can apply by downloading a Request for Proposals (RFP) available at www.nlc.org/iyef.
This national initiative will begin in the midst of the summer youth employment season, and is designed to help cities be more strategic in reengaging youth who are out of school, out of work or have been involved in the juvenile justice or foster care systems. The project will assist cities and their partners as they develop, implement and assess plans to connect disconnected youth with job creation and other employment-related programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Summer and Year-Round Jobs for Youth
During the first phase of this initiative, the YEF Institute will support a learning community of 10 to 12 cities in which selected city teams will gain access to key federal agencies and national youth employment experts as they seek to maximize the impact of ARRA funding in their communities. The recovery package allocates $1.2 billion to local workforce investment boards, and stipulates that most of these funds should be spent this summer and that at least 30 percent of the funding should be used to employ out-of-school youth.
Through a range of webinars and individual opportunity scans conducted by the YEF Institute, the learning community will strengthen project cities' capacity to lead collaborative efforts around key ARRA provisions. In particular, the project will focus on using ARRA funding to support year-round activities for older youth up to age 24 and employ them in high-growth sectors, such as those relating to green jobs.
The learning community will enhance city-led collaboration among the public, private and nonprofit systems that are best able to provide job opportunities for disconnected youth. This assistance will specifically aim to strengthen local coalitions that include workforce investment boards (WIBs), school districts, community colleges and the business community.
In addition to strengthening cross-system youth employment efforts, the YEF Institute will work with city teams to sustain long-term collaborations by improving data collection and accountability, adopting specific youth employment targets and benchmarks for measuring progress and sharing resources and capacity. …