Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Linda Harris
January 1, 2006
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CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
Learning from the Youth
Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity
in Distressed Communities
by Linda Harris
January 2006
On the front cover:
“Preparation + Opportunity = Success”
Twenty-six young artists, ranging in age from 14 to 22, designed and created the mural with
guidance from Museum of Cultural Arts of Houston (MOCAH) artists Reginald & Rhonda Adams
and Prince Maduekwe. It was the final project of a 300-hour mural training curriculum
designed by MOCAH and WorkSource Youth Opportunity Centers. This mural was dedicated in
November 2005.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
Learning from the Youth
Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity
in Distressed Communities
by Linda Harris
January 2006
Acknowledgements
The author acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Center for
Education and the Economy for facilitating initial “Lessons Learned” discussions among Youth
Opportunity sites. The author also thanks Joan Crigger, U.S. Conference of Mayors; Connie Doty, Boston
Community Development; Clyde McQueen, Kansas City Full Employment Council; Robert Sainz, Los
Angeles Workforce Board; Lisa Johnson, Brockton Area Private Industry Council; David Lah, U.S.
Department of Labor; and Angela Parker and Caitlin Johnson, CLASP for their assistance.
About the Author
Linda Harris, Center for Law and Social Policy senior policy analyst, specializes in approaches to re-engage
disconnected youth. Her current work focuses on community and systemic solutions to the issue of youth
who are disconnected from school and work.
For almost two decades researchers, policymakers,
and advocates have been documenting the
struggle of disadvantaged youth in America, particularly
those growing up in our most distressed
communities. In the 1987 publication Workforce
2000, economists noted that most new jobs created
in the 1990s and beyond would require some
level of post-secondary education. They cautioned
that without substantial adjustment in policies and
investment in education and training, the problems
of minority unemployment, crime, and
dependency would be worse in the year 2000.1
Similarly, in the 1988 publication, The Forgotten
Half: Non-College Youth in America, the William T.
Grant Foundation Commission on Work, Family
and Citizenship warned that our economy, national
security, and social cohesion faced a precarious
future unless comprehensive polices and programs
were developed to address the growing gap
between more fortunate youth and those with far
fewer advantages. In 1990, the National Center
on Education and the Economy released America’s
Choice: High Skills or Low Wages, which noted that
one in five young people in this country grow up
in “third-world” surroundings, starting out with
severe learning disadvantages from which they
never recover. The report called for investment in
a drop out recovery system that would build the
connection between education and work for youth
without high school certification.2
Despite nearly two decades of admonitions and
recommendations from noted researchers and
commissions, we are a nation absent a coherent
national youth policy. The current federal and
state-level attention to high school reform is welcome,
and long overdue. Our public schools graduate
only 68 percent of their students; in some
large urban areas, the number drops to 50 percent
among minority youth. In other words, absent
intervention, half of the young people in the high
school pipeline in our most distressed systems will
i
Preface
1 Johnson, W., Packer, A., Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the 21st Century, Hudson Institute, U.S. Department
of Labor, 1987.
2 National Center on Education and the Economy, America’s Choice: High Skills or Low Wages, 1990, pg. 44.
likely disconnect. Each year, half a million youth
across the country will drop out and join the nearly
4 million others who preceded them.
This situation warrants attention as a national priority
—but the solution will depend on the ability
of communities to rally all sectors, levels of government,
and systems to re-engage young people
and support their transition to adulthood. Toward
this end, in 2000, the Department of Labor
awarded Youth Opportunity (YO) Grants totaling
a little more than $1 billion to 36 high-poverty
communities. The grants funded aggressive,
community-wide efforts to connect systems and
resources to dramatically improve the economic
and life options for young people. This report
documents the insights, accomplishments, and
lessons from this very ambitious effort to reshape
the landscape of service delivery for youth in highpoverty
communities. ¦
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
ii
iii
Executive Summary................................................................................................................1
Chapter 1: Introduction .........................................................................................................7
Chapter 2: The Workforce Investment Act and Youth Opportunity Grants—Background ....11
About the Youth Opportunity Communities .............................................................13
What Youth Opportunity Grantees Were Called Upon to Do ...................................13
Chapter 3: Youth Opportunity Grants—Early Accomplishments ..........................................17
Chapter 4: Survey Results—Areas of Success and Lessons Learned......................................21
Mobilizing Community Leadership...........................................................................22
Connecting Systems and Accessing Resources ..........................................................24
- Secondary and Post-Secondary Education Systems ....................................26
- Juvenile Justice System................................................................................27
- Welfare and Child Welfare Systems ............................................................27
- WIA One-Stop System................................................................................27
Assembling and Redirecting Funding........................................................................28
Implementing Comprehensive Program Strategies ...................................................29
- Areas of Programmatic Strength ................................................................30
- Areas of Programmatic Challenge ..............................................................34
Engaging the Business Community ..........................................................................35
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Implications of Findings...........................................................37
Appendix I: YO Community Collaborations with Other Systems .........................................41
Appendix II: Communities Indicating Success Worth Sharing in Various Areas....................47
Appendix III: Contact Information for Respondents to the
Youth Opportunity: Lessons Learned Survey .......................................................................49
Table of Contents
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
iv
In May 2000, the United States Department of
Labor awarded sizable Youth Opportunity (YO)
Grants to 36 high-poverty urban, rural, and
Native American communities. These communities
were among the most economically distressed
communities in the nation, all characterized by
high drop out rates, high youth unemployment
rates, greater incidence of juvenile crime, violence,
and gang activity. The Youth Opportunity
Grants—ranging from $3.1 to $43.8 million over
five years—provided the resources to put in place
comprehensive approaches at considerable scale.
The Department’s expressed intent in awarding
these grants was to demonstrate that the educational
outcomes and economic prospects for
young people in high-poverty communities could
be dramatically improved by infusing these communities
with resources; building capacity and
infrastructure; connecting systems; and developing
comprehensive, age-appropriate opportunities for
youth.
The Youth Opportunity Grants were part of the
overhaul of the youth delivery system brought
about by the passage of the Workforce Investment
Act of 1998. The expectation was that these communities
would be at the forefront of a redesigned
national delivery system for disadvantaged
youth. With the legislative reforms in place,
it was anticipated that congressional appropriations
would continue and perhaps increase to
allow the expansion beyond the original 36 communities.
However, this was not the case.
Appropriations for the Youth Opportunity Grants
ended and the YO communities are in various
stages of transition.
The Youth Opportunity Grant was extremely
complex to implement, both administratively and
programmatically. It required engaging all sectors
of the community and pulling together multiple
systems. The grantees were required to engage a
sizable proportion of the 14- to 21-year-old population,
both those in and out of school, in their
target areas. They were required to create Youth
Opportunity Centers to serve as Safe Havens and
focal points for case management and youth-centered
activity. Youth were to be connected to education
support, workplace and career exposure,
youth development activities, and case manage-
1
Executive Summary
ment support until they completed their academic
credentials and successfully transitioned into the
labor market or higher education. By the end of
the fifth year, more than 90,000 mostly minority
youth were enrolled in the Youth Opportunity
program in the 36 communities.
Much was accomplished in a relatively short period
of time in these communities. These accomplishments
are particularly notable, considering
the complexities of the YO grant requirements,
the challenges of the economic and budgetary
environments in the local communities at the time
of implementation, and the change in governance
in the workforce system that was occurring at the
same time. The observations in this paper are
based on the responses of 22 of the YO sites to a
“Learning from Youth Opportunity” survey
administered by the Center for Law and Social
Policy (CLASP), wherein respondents were asked
to identify areas of strength and challenges on 120
items in four categories: (1) Mobilizing and
Engaging Leadership, (2) Connecting Systems,
(3) Implementing Comprehensive Program
Strategies, and (4) Engaging the Business Sector.
Focus group discussions were conducted with several
of the YO sites shortly after the start of the
final grant year and then again as the year ended.
This paper presents an assessment of the capacity
building efforts in YO communities, the strengths
and challenges of the program, lessons learned,
and recommendations for policy and approach.
General Findings
Several overarching themes were reflected in the
survey responses and in the discussions.
YO resources played a catalytic role in elevating
the youth agenda. Most communities reported
that the competition for and receipt of the grant
created the impetus for key leadership to come
together to focus on “older youth” and be more
strategic in the solutions.
Implementation presented an enormous challenge.
Managing a program with such a broad
scope of activity, considerable scale, and administrative
complexity presented tremendous challenge,
especially in the start-up year. Pressure for
quick start-up before management systems were in
place was detrimental to performance in the first
year. Successful implementation requires a much
longer planning and
start-up time than YO
sites were afforded.
Participants felt considerable
pride in
early programmatic
accomplishments. The
YO directors and
Workforce Investment
Board (WIB) directors
expressed considerable pride—as individual communities
and as a collective movement—in their
successful outreach to youth and establishment of
community and systems connections. There were
clearly short-run accomplishments for the communities
and the youth involved, including:
¦ YO communities were successful in outreaching
and engaging a substantial portion of the
youth in the target area, particularly out of
school youth. Department of Labor estimates
that the YO program had a penetration rate of
42 percent of all eligible youth and 62 percent
of out-of-school youth. The saturation
approach appears to have worked well in
terms of attracting and connecting traditionally
hard-to-serve (and hard-to-find) groups.
¦ YO impacted the way communities organized
their systems and resources to respond to the
needs of youth in high-risk categories.
¦ The YO experience contributed to the increased
professionalism of the youth delivery system.
The consistent focus on upgrading staff skills,
creating institutes and academies, establishing a
youth practitioners’ apprenticeship program,
and ensuring peer-to-peer collaboration across
sites has increased the expertise and caliber of
youth workers in these communities.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
2
By the end of the fifth
year, more than
90,000 mostly minority
youth were enrolled
in the Youth Opportunity
program in 36
communities.
¦ The YO sites were successful in dramatically
increasing youth participation in academic
support or education re-engagement activities.
Quite noteworthy are the activities devoted to
post-secondary preparation and the high level
of post-secondary matriculation.
¦ The Youth Opportunity sites were very successful
in connecting youth to internships and
employment opportunities:| 23,652 internship opportunities
were created| 28,302 youth were placed in short-term
unsubsidized jobs| 18,456 youth were placed in long-term
unsubsidized work| 23,478 were engaged in training
The infusion of YO funding had an important
economic impact. Communities (especially rural
communities) reported that YO not only played a
role in building the youth delivery infrastructure,
but also had an important economic impact. YO
required a heavy investment in case management
and outreach staff—participating communities
added 40 to 70 new jobs, most of which were professional
positions. While there is no empirical
analysis that documents the magnitude of the YO
economic impact, it is reasonable to presume that
the increased buying power of new employees and
the expanded contracting had a multiplier effect in
these local economies.
Survey Findings
Twenty-two communities participated in the
CLASP survey: Albany, GA; Baltimore, MD;
Boston, MA; Brockton, MA; Buffalo & Erie
Counties, NY; California Indian Manpower
Consortium, CA; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO;
Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Hartford, CT; Kansas
City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Lumber River, NC;
Memphis, TN; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA;
San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; Pima
County (Tucson), AZ; and Washington, DC.
Collectively, a significant expertise has been developed,
with communities demonstrating strength
in different areas.
YO communities experienced the most success in
the following activity areas:
¦ Mobilizing community leadership and involving
key public systems in the planning and
coordination of service delivery.
¦ Attracting key leaders to the Youth Council
(or similar convening group) and engaging
them in a strategic process.
¦ Accessing resources from multiple systems in
support of the delivery of youth services—78
percent of the communities blended staffing
and/or resources from at least three youthserving
systems, including the local school district,
juvenile justice, post-secondary, WIA
one-stops and
TANF system.
Sixty-two percent
of communities
had formal referral
relationships
with the juvenile
justice system.
¦ Creating the outreach
strategies
and networks for
reaching youth and engaging them in service
design or delivery.
¦ Developing or accessing alternative education
programs for out-of-school youth.
¦ Creating work experiences and internships for
in-school and out-of-school youth.
Areas of greatest challenge tended to be:
¦ Recruiting adults to serve as mentors.
¦ Developing special interventions to serve the
needs of harder to serve groups such as home-
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
3
Seventy-eight percent
of the communities
blended staffing and/
or resources from at
least three youthserving
systems—local
school district, juvenile
justice.
less youth, youth returning from incarceration,
youth with substance problems, and
those with limited English speaking ability.
¦ Engaging the media in a positive, constructive
way.
¦ Assembling local funding and redirecting the
funding streams from other systems to accommodate
the programming and service needs of
youth at very high risk.
¦ Closing the gap between employer expectations
and young people’s skills sets.
Conclusions and Key
Recommendations
The infusion of the YO resources into these communities
at a time when the workforce delivery
system was in transition, when the economy was
recessing, when resources to other youth service
organizations and systems were retrenching and
when youth unemployment was on the rise created
a synergy in many communities. Out of necessity,
and given this opportunity communities coalesced
around the older youth agenda creating
relationships and interventions that extend beyond
the YO boundaries and will most probably continue
beyond the grant funding. It also created a
national movement uniting communities in a
process of learning from each other and building
community capacity to implement and manage
this effort of significant scale and importance.
The Youth Opportunity experience demonstrates
that:
1. Young people by the thousands are anxious
for a chance to reconnect. When presented
with options to re-engage in schooling, prepare
for careers, and transform their paths,
youth by the thousands connected through
Youth Opportunity. The Department of
Labor estimates that 42 percent of the eligible
youth and 62 percent of the eligible out-ofschool
youth in the target areas enrolled in the
YO program. The loss of such resources and
infrastructure in these most distressed communities
would be tragic.
2. Communities can manage to scale. YO communities
persevered through the start-up challenges,
demonstrating that—given adequate
resources and planning time—communities
can bring effective, comprehensive, coordinated
programming to scale.
3. Requiring the involvement of multiple systems
and resources as a contingency of funding
is effective in bringing disparate players
to the table. The directives of grant makers
and funders affect how programs and planning
occurs in a community. In communities
with limited resources, every incentive should
be used to leverage systems and resources to
work in tandem to address the needs of
youth.
4. There must be a convening entity. A Youth
Council (or similar vehicle) comprising the
appropriate membership can help create a
strategic vision for youth—in particular, those
falling outside the mainstream—and engage
all segments of the community in implementing
the vision and benchmarking progress.
5. Local and state officials have an extremely
important role to play. Communities that
indicated success in engaging their mayor or
local official also had greater success in accessing
multiple systems.
6. Local delivery capacity is directly related to
the ability to hire and maintain quality staff.
Most YO sites invested in recruiting, training,
and developing quality case management staff.
The vagaries of funding make it difficult for
communities to maintain a high-quality direct
service capacity. Developing and maintaining
the professional capacity in youth service
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
4
delivery is a critical challenge to overcome if
communities are to make a substantial impact
on the negative indicators.
7. Communities with large numbers of dropouts
will need to explore multiple avenues for
connecting these youth to quality education
options. Many of the approaches employed in
the YO communities are promising but relatively
young and may succumb to a lack of
funding support. Given the tremendous need
for effective educational alternatives, these collective
YO efforts should be maintained and
supported—they are a fertile arena for continued
study, information sharing, and technical
support.
8. The child welfare and mental health systems
must be more fully engaged in the local
visioning, strategic planning, and delivery of
these interventions, in order to address the
myriad situations that young people face as
they attempt to reconnect. These systems
appeared to be tangential in the YO efforts. In
fact, the welfare and child welfare systems were
least likely to be engaged in the planning
process.
9. The YO communities were successful in
motivating youth to post-secondary aspirations.
Making those aspirations a reality
requires greater support for non-traditional
students matriculating in college.
10. Economically stressed communities can’t
replace the loss of millions in federal funding.
The provision for Youth Opportunity
Grants in the 1998 WIA legislation was built
on lessons from several years of prior demonstration
funding and was grounded in the
findings from years of research on effective
practice. The abandonment of a well thoughtout,
targeted intervention— particularly at a
time when drop out rates among poor urban
minority youth exceed 50 percent— should
be reconsidered.
11. Foundations and other funders have an
important role to play in incubating and sustaining
these innovations. Many promising—
in some cases groundbreaking—approaches
were implemented in the YO communities.
Many of these will suffer not because they
aren’t effective, but because the available
resources are insufficient to nurture their
growth and development in complicated environments.
Foundation funds are critical to
maintaining and further developing these successful
efforts and assisting in their evaluation,
dissemination, and replication.
12. There is a need for expanded participation of
employers and business leaders in crafting
pathways for youth to connect with high
growth, high skill areas of the economy. In
many communities, the YO effort brought
together secondary, post-secondary, and workforce
systems to support non-traditional students.
The business sector can help these systems
define the skills set, exposure, and experiences
that can create a pipeline of welltrained
candidates for the skilled jobs of the
future. Several YO sites noted the challenge of
imparting the requisite occupational skills for
success—a task that cannot be accomplished
without business and industry at the table.
Further exploration of incentives and supports
to expand business and industry alliances is
warranted. ¦
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
5
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
6
In May, 2000 the United States Department of
Labor awarded sizable Youth Opportunity (YO)
Grants to 36 high-poverty urban, rural, and
Native American communities. These communities
were among the most economically distressed
communities in the nation, all characterized by
high drop out rates, high youth unemployment
rates, greater incidence of juvenile crime, violence
and gang activity. The grants were substantial,
ranging from a low of $3.1 million in the Native
American community of Grand Traverse to $43.8
million in larger urban areas like Baltimore, Los
Angeles, San Antonio, and Houston. The YO
grants provided the resources to establish comprehensive
approaches at considerable scale. They
were catalytic in launching important collaborations
in these communities to connect systems, to
leverage resources, and to develop and implement
comprehensive strategies for reaching these young
people and redirecting their paths.
The Department of Labor’s intent in making these
awards was to demonstrate that investing substantial
resources in relatively small geographic areas in
order to connect youth to high-quality supports
could bring about significant community-wide
improvement in the education and labor market
outcomes for youth. Unlike traditional federal
youth programs that have strict income eligibility
requirements, all youth (ages 14 to 21) who
resided within the boundaries of the target areas
were eligible for service. Emphasis was to be
placed on outreach to all eligible youth, especially
older youth who were out of school and out of
work. The Department of Labor also sought to
demonstrate that by infusing high-poverty communities
with resources, by building capacity and
infrastructure, by connecting systems, and by saturating
communities with age-appropriate, horizonextending
opportunities for youth, the graduation
rates, college matriculation rates, and employment
rates for youth in these communities could be dramatically
increased.
The Youth Opportunity Grants were part of the
overhaul of the youth delivery system brought
about by the passage of the Workforce Investment
Act of 1998. The expectation was that YO communities
would be at the forefront of a redesigned
national delivery system for disadvantaged youth.
7
Chapter 1: Introduction
With the legislative reforms in place, it was anticipated
that congressional appropriations would
continue and perhaps increase to allow the expansion
beyond the original 36 communities.
However, this was not the case—appropriations
for YO grants were dramatically decreased, allowing
just enough funding to honor the obligation
to the original 36 grantees.
With these awards, the Department of Labor
launched a vibrant YO movement that fostered
collaboration both within and among communities
to elevate the field of practice related to
preparing youth in high-poverty communities for
successful transition to adulthood and labor market
success.
At the time of this analysis, the Youth
Opportunity Communities were ending their final
year of the five-year grant period and preparing for
phase-down and transition. The local YO directors
and Workforce Investment Board directors
acknowledged the enormity of the challenge of
managing at such a scale. They also expressed considerable
pride in what was accomplished in such
a short timeframe in terms of engaging community
leadership and building the capacity of the
youth-serving systems to successfully support
thousands of youth.
The ultimate measure of success for these communities
is the extent to which the education
and labor market outcomes for youth are altered;
it is questionable whether the funding period was
long enough to yield such sustained communitywide
impact. Nevertheless, for the 90,000 youth
engaged over the 36 sites, many of the short run
accomplishments are encouraging. These communities
have developed a great deal of knowledge,
experience, and delivery capacity that can hopefully
survive the retrenchment in funding.
This report serves to document those accomplishments;
identify those areas where capacity has been
built; highlight the lessons learned; and draw attention
to the challenge and accomplishments of communities
that have been working earnestly to reconnect
their young people. Input for this report was
gathered via three sources: two formal meetings
with YO directors debriefing on lessons learned and
next steps; formal surveys of 22 YO communities;
and follow-up phone calls to YO directors and
Workforce Investment Board directors.
Several resonating themes emerged from sites,
including:
¦ The catalytic role that YO resources played
in elevating the youth agenda—most communities
reported that the competition for
and receipt of the grant created the impetus
for key leadership to come together to focus
on “older youth” and be more strategic in the
solutions.
¦ The enormity of the implementation challenge
—grantees commented on the tremendous
complexities associated with implementing
an initiative of this scope and scale. They
were required to concurrently convene multiple
partners and systems; assemble resources;
negotiate formal service agreements; retrofit
facilities; develop interventions for in-school,
out-of-school, older, and younger youth;
implement a complex case management tracking
system; hire and train a sizable staff; and
establish recruitment and referral networks.
Grantees were also required to track youth
from the time of enrollment (in and out of
multiple activities) through to two years after
program completion, and report on interim
benchmarks. For some, this meant tracking
2,000-3,000 young people. Pressures to start
before management systems were in place was
detrimental to performance in the first year.
Effective implementation requires a much
longer planning and start-up time than YO
sites were afforded.
¦ Pride in the early programmatic accomplishments
—the YO directors and WIB directors
expressed considerable pride as individual
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
8
communities and as a collective movement in
their success in reaching out to and connecting
youth, and establishing community and
systems connections. Most communities felt
that accomplishments in the face of such challenge
were noteworthy.
¦ The complexity of the administrative
details—in general, YO directors expressed
considerable pride in the management
information systems that were put in place,
and noted that such tracking systems are
essential for quality control and program
accountability.
¦ The economic impact of the infusion of YO
funding—grantees (especially in rural areas)
reported that YO not only strengthened the
youth services delivery infrastructure, but also
had an important economic impact on communities.
YO required a heavy investment in
case management and outreach staff; communities
added 40 to 70 new jobs—mostly professional
positions—to the economy. While
there is no empirical analysis that documents
the magnitude of the YO economic impact, it
is reasonable to presume that the increased
buying power of new employees and the
expanded contracting had a multiplier effect
in these local economies.
¦ Concern about ability to preserve the infrastructure,
programs, and capacity beyond the
period of grant funding—while many communities
made substantial inroads partnering
with other systems, the loss of funding will
most likely jeopardize the ability to sustain
much of what has been built. At the time of
this report, communities were attempting to
scale back and eliminate some components.
As the grantees ended their final year of funding,
they expressed concern not just about the impending
loss of resources, but also about losing ground
in areas where they had significant and meaningful
progress. ¦
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
9
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
10
The Youth Opportunity Grant was authorized
under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998
(WIA), which dramatically changed the way the
local workforce system delivers youth services. For
youth, WIA required a shift in delivery from onetime,
short-term interventions toward a more
comprehensive, systemic approach that offers a
range of coordinated services. It mandated an
increased expenditure of funds on out-of-school
youth. Most notable, WIA required the inclusion
of ten program elements for youth which can be
grouped around four major themes:
1. Improving educational achievement, including
such elements as tutoring, study skills training,
and instruction leading to secondary school
completion; drop out prevention strategies, and
alternative secondary school offerings.
2. Preparing for and succeeding in
employment, including summer employment
opportunities, paid and unpaid work experience,
and occupational skills training.
3. Supporting youth, including meeting supportive
services needs and providing adult
mentoring, follow-up services, and comprehensive
guidance and counseling.
4. Offering services intended to develop the
potential of youth as citizens and leaders,
including leadership development
opportunities.
The stand-alone federal summer jobs program,
which had been available to local communities for
11
Chapter 2: The Workforce
Investment Act and Youth
Opportunity Grants—Background
WIA in Brief
The federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998
(WIA) streamlined national employment/training
programs to give states and communities
more flexibility to design effective, accountable
workforce development efforts. Title I of WIA
authorizes services for youth, adults, and laidoff
workers.
Among its provisions, WIA mandated the creation
of Youth Councils in every local delivery
area to develop a coordinated youth policy
and strengthen linkages between existing
youth-serving systems and resources.
more than three decades, was eliminated in lieu of
the requirement that all youth must be engaged in
year-round activity. In recognition of the challenges
faced by youth in high-poverty communities,
the legislation authorized the Youth
Opportunity Grants Program. As stipulated in
the legislation, congressional appropriations above
a $1 billion threshold in the WIA youth title (up
to $250 million annually) would be used by the
Department of Labor to provide grants to highpoverty
communities.
The Youth Opportunity Grant Program was the
largest investment of its kind for the Department
of Labor since the youth demonstration projects of
the late 1970s, which provided several billion dollars
to local communities to create job training,
work experience, and conservation corps at considerable
scale. YO built on the lessons learned
from several smaller demonstrations in recent
prior years–including The Youth Fair Chance,
Youth Opportunity Unlimited, and the Kulick
Demonstration grants. The Notice of Fund
Availability for the Youth Opportunity Grant was
explicit and prescriptive about the components to
be addressed in the grant proposals.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
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Community YO funding # of youth
(in millions) enrolled
Urban
Birmingham, AL $19.7 1636
Pima County
(Tucson), AZ 27.8 2913
Los Angeles, CA 43.8 4412
San Diego, CA 27.8 3057
San Francisco, CA 19.8 2401
Hartford, CT 27.8 2778
Denver, CO 19.9 2535
District of Columbia 31.8 2369
Tampa, FL 23.8 2310
Louisville, KY 27.8 4419
Brockton, MA 17.8 1844
Boston, MA 23.8 3507
Baltimore, MD 43.8 4357
Kansas City, MO 15.9 1721
Buffalo, NY 31.6 2992
Portland, OR 19.8 1947
Cleveland, OH 27.8 2667
Philadelphia, PA 19.8 2629
Memphis, TN 25.8 3535
Houston, TX 43.8 4185
Community YO funding # of youth
(in millions) enrolled
Urban continued
San Antonio, TX 43.8 4308
Seattle, WA 17.8 1444
Milwaukee, WI 23.8 1937
Rural
South Eastern, AR 19.8 2191
Imperial, CA 19.8 1145
Albany, GA 14.6 1468
Molokai, HA 8.7 993
Monroe, LA 19.8 1877
Lumber River, NC 19.8 2034
Native American
CA Indian Manpower 15.9 1396
Consortium
Cook Inlet, AK 31.8 3421
Grand Traverse 3.1 143
Navajo Nation 41.0 4020
Oglala Sioux Tribe 15.9 3159
Ute Mountain 8.0 346
YO Communities
DOL. Youth Opportunity Monthly Data and Rate Analysis Report. June 2005.
About the Youth
Opportunity Communities
The grant solicitation and review process required
communities to demonstrate their capacity to coalesce
local leadership and resources in support of an
effort as comprehensive as YO. More than 150 communities
applied; 36 urban, rural, and tribal communities
were selected. The grantees were geographically
dispersed throughout the country including
Alaska and Hawaii. The urban jurisdictions ranged
in population from 100,000 in Brockton,
Massachusetts, to 3.7 million in Los Angeles.
The jurisdictions receiving awards are listed on the
prior page. Within those jurisdictions, funding
was targeted to the most distressed neighborhoods
located within the designated empowerment or
enterprise zones. Grant awards ranged from $3.1
million to $43.8 million.
What Youth Opportunity
Grantees Were Called
Upon to Do
To appreciate the implementation challenge of the
YO grant, it is important to understand the
breadth of intervention mandated in each community.
Grantees were required to engage the
various sectors of the community—specifically,
the school system, the juvenile justice system,
community-based organizations, and the private
sector—in the design and delivery of services. The
grants required each area to put in place, at a minimum,
the following four components.
¦ Youth Opportunity Centers. Each site was
required to establish at least one physical location
(most had multiple locations) that was
easily accessible and identifiable as the Youth
Opportunity point of access.
¦ Core of Case Managers. The grant required
that each site maintain a low student-to-staff
ratio to ensure individualized attention. The
Department of Labor prescribed the number
and type of staff to be hired in each community.
Each site assembled a core staff of
between 40 to 60 youth specialists (on average)
to develop individualized plans and
help young people access appropriate education
support programming; health, childcare,
housing, and other supports; and
career-planning, internships, occupational
training, employment and post-secondary
opportunities.
Youth development
staff were
required to track
youth through
program completion
and two
years beyond.
¦ Drop Out
Prevention and
Intervention Strategies. Increasing graduation
and college matriculation rates were important
goals for the YO program. Sites were
required establish supportive services to
increase school retention, improve academic
achievement, and increase graduation rates, as
well as intensive support strategies to assist
youth who had already fallen behind and
those at greatest risk of dropping out.
¦ Alternative Education Connections. YO
grantees were required to enroll all out-ofschool
youth without a diploma in an appropriate
education option.
The grant required that youth be involved in
activity from the time of initial engagement
through successful labor market (or post-secondary)
transition and beyond. Probably the most
daunting of challenges for these communities was
developing the programmatic capacity to meet the
educational needs of the hundreds—in some cases,
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
13
The Youth Opportunity
Grant Program was
the largest investment
of its kind for the
Department of Labor
since the 1970s.
thousands—of out-of-school youth in need of
alternative pathways to high school credentials.
For example, large urban sites like Baltimore,
Memphis, Houston, Detroit, Los Angeles,
Cleveland, Tampa, Philadelphia, Boston, and
Buffalo all reported enrolling in excess of 1,000
out-of-school youth in YO activities. The grant
required all drop-outs be connected to a program
of educational support.
The Department of Labor was quite explicit about
the breadth of programming, system innovation,
and community mobilization expected in these
communities. The selection criteria gave considerable
weight to the
management plan and
to leveraging resources
for sustainability. The
Department of Labor
also invested in building
the local capacity
by (1) providing
coaches for each of the
sites to help with startup,
by (2) creating a
leadership academy to
provide ongoing training
for local YO staff,
(3) facilitating networking among sites through
conferences and monthly teleconferences, and (4)
assigning the department’s regional staff to assist in
oversight. Among the youth-serving efforts to
date, YO was unique in its complexity, its scale,
the scope of activities, and the required components.
The YO grantees engaged concurrently in a
broad range of activities related to implementing
the grant, including:
¦ Mobilizing the community leadership to support
such massive intervention and to exert
the influence necessary to redirect the programming
of systems, agencies, community
organizations, service providers, and resource
streams in support of the YO effort.
¦ Negotiating governance arrangements, which
were extremely complicated in many areas.
The YO grants were funded at the same time
that the Workforce Investment Act of 1998
took effect requiring substantial restructuring
of the local workforce system, re-designation
of local delivery areas, replacement of local
Private Industry Councils with local
Workforce Investment Boards, and establishment
of Youth Councils. Thus many areas
were called upon to implement this very complicated
grant as they concurrently restructured
their organizations and their boards.
¦ Identifying and rehabilitating physical space
sufficient to accommodate the size of staff and
level of activity for hundreds of youth at a
time. Each community was required to have
at least one community-based center serving
as the focal point for activity. Most communities
had several locations. These facilities needed
to be accessible, affordable, engaging, and
youth-friendly.
¦ Assembling and training a sizable staff, large
enough to meet the case management requirements
of the grant. YO grantees were required
to maintain a relatively small ratio of students
to staff, thereby requiring substantial hiring.
¦ Implementing new management information
systems to facilitate case management, track
youth participation and outcomes, and meet
the rigorous data collection requirements of
the grant.
¦ Establishing formal agreements with the
various service systems and putting in place
the mechanics for procurement of services
from a broad range of providers, agencies, and
vendors.
¦ Identifying, expanding, or replicating strong
program models to provide effective assessment,
case management, and advocacy; career
awareness and exploration; tutoring for in-
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
14
Sites were required to
involve youth in activities
from the time of
initial engagement to
their transition to
school or work, and
beyond—and track
youth through two
years after program
completion.
school youth; pre-GED, GED, or alternative
education for out-of-school youth; work experiences
and internships; training in civic, life,
and soft skills; occupational training; mentoring
and adult guidance; and preparation for
and transition to jobs.
¦ Implementing outreach strategies, referral
networks, and engagement activities to
attract and retain youth who are traditionally
very hard to attract and keep connected. ¦
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
15
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
16
Implementation for the YO grants occurred
amidst several challenges. The roll-out of the YO
program occurred during a period of economic
recession and a slow jobless recovery. The workforce
system was undergoing substantial restructuring.
The Youth Councils, designed to provide guidance
to the planning process, were just being
formed in many areas. State and local governments
were experiencing budget shortfalls resulting in
reductions in important support programs. In light
of the tumultuous environment and shifting structural,
economic, and political landscape, the YO
movement had quite notable accomplishments in a
relatively short period of time.
These accomplishments include:
¦ Engaging more than 90,000 youth, mostly
minority, spanning all age categories. The
YO communities attracted and engaged the
target population in numbers that exceeded
the goals set for the grant. Forty-two percent
of the eligible target population (and 62 percent
of the eligible out-of-school population)
were enrolled. Fifty eight percent were African
American, 22 percent were Hispanic, and 15
percent were Native American.
Chapter 3: Youth Opportunity
Grants—Early Accomplishments
Outreach and Recruitment Totals
In-school Youth Out-of-School Youth Total
New Enrollments 47,892.00 51.9% 44,371.00 48.1% 92,263.00
Male 22,235.00 46.4% 21,437.00 48.3% 43,672.00 47.3%
Female 25,657.00 53.6% 22,934.00 51.7% 48,591.00 52.7%
14 – 16 Yrs. 32,331.00 67.5% 6,708.00 15.1% 39,039.00 42.3%
17 – 18 Yrs. 11,893.00 24.8% 16,353.00 36.9% 28,246.00 30.6%
19 – 21 Yrs. 3,668.00 7.7% 21,309.00 48.0% 24,977.00 27.1%
DOL. Youth Opportunity Monthly Data and Rate Analysis Report. June 2005.
17
This is particularly notable considering that
during this period, a Government
Accountability Office (GAO) assessment of
early WIA implementation identified the
recruitment of out-of-school youth as a major
difficulty for local service providers.3 As referenced
in subsequent sections of this paper,
outreach and recruitment was an area in
which local directors felt they experienced
considerable success.
¦ Creating 204 Youth Opportunity Centers or
Satellites. The establishment of these centers
fulfilled the grant requirement that there be at
least one well-situated youth center, with
satellites if necessary, where youth can enroll,
receive individual assessment, meet with staff,
access program information and referrals and
engage in employment development and
youth development activities. YO sites invested
in creating youth friendly, technology
equipped environments.
¦ Creating and engaging youth in a broad
range of activities. The YO sites, as required
by the grant, created a broad spectrum of
activities and succeeded in maintaining an
average monthly participation rate of 80 percent
of all enrollees engaged in activities.
While youth participation is more a measure
of process, the high level of engagement of
youth in continuous activity is significant for
three reasons.| It reflects substantial systemic change in the
delivery of youth services in the workforce
system, towards longer-term comprehensive
programming.| It reflects the incorporation of the youth
development principles.| It shows the ability of these communities to
engage service providers, vendors, and community
resources to generate the level of
programmatic opportunity necessary to
address the varying needs of this sizable
group of youth.
¦ Dramatically increasing youth’s participation
in academic support or education re-engagement
activities. YO sites paid considerable
attention to expanding the range of activities
designed to:| Support youth’s academic progress while in
school.| Reconnect out of school youth to educational
alternatives.| Expose, prepare and connect youth to postsecondary
education options.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
18
3 GAO, WIA Youth Provisions Promote New Strategies, But Additional Guidance Would Enhance Program Development, April
2002, p 27.
Participation in Activities
Number of Participants
Activities In-School Out-of-School Total
Internships/Subsidized Jobs 16,609 9,615 26,224
Community Service 14,348 9,478 23,862
Sports & Recreation 21,352 14,481 35,833
Support Groups 13,649 11,427 25,076
Peer to Peer Mentoring 11,439 8,148 19,587
Job Readiness Training 23,257 20,735 44,092
Occupational Training 9,747 9,798 19,545
DOL. Youth Opportunity Monthly Data and Rate Analysis Report. June 2005.
Quite noteworthy is the substantial level of
participation in SAT preparation and the
number of youth engaged in a post-secondary
activity. The post-secondary matriculation for
the Youth Opportunity students is particularly
remarkable considering the very low level of
post-secondary achievement for minority populations
in the urban communities receiving
YO grants. According to the Brooking
Institute’s Census Data profiles on 22 of the
24 cities, only 13 percent of the Black and
Hispanic population over the age of 25
achieved a college diploma, on average, compared
to 38 percent for the White
population4. Thus, the focus on college
matriculation for these youth was important
not only for improving their labor market status,
but for potentially impacting the disparity
in post-secondary achievement.
¦ Creating a substantial number of work experience
and labor market exposure opportunities
for youth. More than 70,000 work or
labor market connections were developed as
part of the preparation or transition experiences
for these youth. It should also be noted
that these opportunities were being developed
at the same time that the federal summer jobs
program was being eliminated and as the
funding for youth programs in general was
being decreased. ¦
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
19
4 Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program, Living Cities Data Books. http://apps89.brookings.edu:89/livingcities/.
Academic Remediation 22,405
Enrolled in Alternative School 3,895
Enrolled in 2-year College 7,224
Enrolled in 4-year College 6,045
Enrolled in SAT Prep 17,856
Enrolled in GED Prep 15,210
0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000
Number Participating
Youth Placed in Selected Education Enhancement Activites
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
20
Youth Participation in Work and Labor Market Exposure Activities
Replacement Jobs
5,562
Long-term
Unsubsidized Jobs
18,456
Short-term
Unsubsidized Jobs
28,302
Internships and
Subsidized
Employment
23,652
CLASP emailed surveys to the Workforce
Investment Board directors and the Youth
Opportunity project directors in each community.
The survey was designed to identify those areas of
planning, programming, or delivery where considerable
success was achieved and to also identify the
areas of continued challenge or common concern.
The survey items can be grouped in five categories:
Mobilizing and Engaging leadership,
Connecting Systems, Assembling and Redirecting
Funding, Implementing Comprehensive Program
Strategies, and Engaging the Business sector. There
were a total of 120 questions across these categories.
For each question the respondent was
asked to indicate whether they (1) achieved considerable
success worth replicating; (2) achieved
some success; challenges still exist; (3) attempted,
but had little success; or (4) did not attempt.
Respondents were then asked to comment on
their successes or problems and to identify
barriers.
Twenty-two of the 36 communities responded to
the survey: Albany, GA; Baltimore; Boston;
Brockton, MA; Buffalo & Erie Counties;
California Indian Manpower Consortium;
Cleveland; Denver; Detroit; Gulf Coast, TX;
Hartford, CT; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Lumber
River, NC; Memphis; Philadelphia; San Diego;
San Francisco: Seattle; Tampa; Tucson; and
Washington, DC.
Follow-up phone calls were made to several of the
respondents to clarify responses and gather more
descriptive information. Areas of strength are
those where at least half of the sites had achieved
success, according to survey responses and followup
discussion, and where they felt their activities
were worth replicating or sharing. Similarly, areas
of continued challenge or concern are those
wherein less than a quarter of the sites indicated
considerable success, and more than a quarter
indicated that they were not successful or that it
was an area of challenge. Appendix 2 shows areas
in which specific communities felt they had developed
considerable capacity worth sharing.
In general, the survey responses suggest that, collectively,
a great deal of expertise has been generated,
and that different communities developed
21
Chapter 4: Survey Results—Areas
of Success and Lessons learned
strength in different areas. YO communities experienced
the most success in the following activity
areas:
¦ Mobilizing community leadership and involving
key public systems in the planning and
coordination of service delivery.
¦ Attracting key leaders to the Youth Council
(or similar convening group) and engaging
them in a strategic process.
¦ Accessing resources from multiple systems to
support service delivery—in particular the
education system, the WIA one-stop system,
and juvenile justice system.
¦ Making connections with the education and
post-secondary systems for academic enhancements
and post-secondary preparation.
¦ Creating effective outreach strategies and networks
for reaching youth and engaging them
in the design or delivery of service.
¦ Developing or accessing alternative education
programs for out-of-school youth.
¦ Creating work experiences and internships for
both in-school and out-of-school youth.
Areas of greatest challenge tended to be:
¦ Recruiting adults to serve as mentors.
¦ Developing special interventions to serve the
needs of harder-to-serve groups such as homeless
youth, youth returning from incarceration,
those with substance problems, and
those with limited English proficiency.
¦ Engaging the media in a positive, constructive
way.
¦ Assembling local funding and redirecting the
funding streams from other systems to accommodate
the programming and service needs of
the very high-risk youth.
¦ Closing the gap between employer expectations
and young people’s skill sets.
The following sections examine YO communities’
successes and challenges in the five survey item
areas.
Mobilizing Community
Leadership
There were several items on the survey related to
engaging community leadership, formulation of
the Youth Council (or similar advisory group),
visioning, and planning. Based on the survey
responses and follow up discussions with the YO
directors and WIB directors, this was an area of
strength for the YO communities. In analyzing the
survey responses across all 15 items on mobilizing
leadership and strategic planning, several communities
appear to have had considerable success in
multiple areas, including Kansas City, Boston,
Baltimore, Tucson, Detroit, Hartford, San Diego,
San Francisco, California Indian Manpower
Consortium, and Memphis.
The majority of communities indicated considerable
success in involving their elected officials or
other key community leaders in focusing attention
on the challenges of out-of-school youth and
youth in high risk situations. They also indicated
success in attracting the participation of key players
on the Youth Council (or similar group) and
engaging the Council in policymaking and strategic
planning related to youth service delivery.
From follow-up discussions with several sites, it
was clear that success evolved over time as communities
strengthened partnerships to meet the
implementation, programmatic, and sustainability
challenges. What emerges from the survey
responses and comments is that multiple communities
were successful in convening key representa-
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
22
tives from disparate youth efforts, various youth
service systems, the public and private sector, and
community-based organizations to strategize about
a better-coordinated, effective delivery system for
disadvantaged and disconnected youth.
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
23
In Baltimore, at the outset of the YO initiative,
multiple organizations, agencies, and businesses
signed a formal “Declaration of Partnership” committing
their “collective efforts in support of realizing
the shared vision of ensuring all youth develop
the skills, abilities, and personal attributes necessary
for the successful transition to productive adulthood.”
The partnership—which included the
workforce system, school system, the university and
community college, the housing authority, social
services, the mental health system, the Maryland
Business Roundtable, the Mayor’s Office on
Criminal Justice, and others—remained active
throughout the entire grant period, with all players
contributing to the implementation and service
delivery.
In Boston, the Youth Council had very active participation
from both the private and public sectors in the
design of their youth strategy. Most notable were the
strong collaborations with the law enforcement community
—including the police department, the Suffolk
County Sheriff's Department, the Departments of
Probation and Youth Services, and the District
Attorney's Office. The Boston Public School’s Director
of Alternative Education and the principals of the public
high schools were also actively engaged in the YO effort.
Boston’s “Friends of YO” sustainability effort was
launched after Mayor Menino, a longtime supporter of
youth programming, addressed a Town Hall Breakfast
meeting of political, business, and community leaders
gathered to learn about the Youth Opportunity Program
and discuss effective ways to coordinate activity.
The YO grant enabled Pima County to
establish a youth services network of community-
based organizations and key
youth-serving institutions and to fund a
staff position to support the collaboration.
Each agency agreed to dedicate staff to the
One-Stop Center system. The use of a network
of agencies offered youth multiple
points of entry and a choice of servicedelivery
locations, including schools, the
public housing authority, the juvenile justice
system, neighborhood centers, and
agencies focused on gang prevention,
homeless youth, and disability services.
The state foster care system also dedicated
in-kind staffing to the network.
In Kansas City, the business community
played a leading role in focusing
attention on the older youth
agenda, with the Full Employment
Council performing the intermediary
function. Prompted by statistics from
Northeastern University’s Center for
Labor Market Studies on Kansas City
demographic and labor force trends,
the board presented an economic
development imperative rather than a
social imperative to draw multiple
partners into focusing on strategies to
prepare older youth for productive
participation in the labor force.
The success of the YO communities in bringing
together this leadership across sectors and systems
suggests that the infusion of resources was catalytic
and helped bring the problems of older and disconnected
youth to the forefront. The comments
from the field indicated that even with resources,
successful mobilization required significant and
dedicated leadership. Active mayoral involvement
appears to correlate highly with programmatic success.
Those communities that indicated that they
had considerable success in engaging their mayor
(Boston, Detroit, California Indian Manpower
Consortium, Buffalo, Memphis, and Brockton)
also indicated having considerable success in
engaging multiple systems and implementing
comprehensive programs.
Most of the communities were not starting from
scratch. The strength of the Department of Labor
approach to the implementation of the grants was
its insistence on multiple
systems coming
together and building
on community
resources. Many other
organizations and
efforts—including
United Way, Safe and
Sound, Job Corps,
YMCA, Boys and
Girls Club, the empowerment zones, transitional
jobs initiative, 21st Century Schools, and mayoral
and county-level initiatives—were cited as playing
important roles in (and in some cases facilitating)
this strategic process. Nearly half of the communities
indicated that such strategic youth programming
required a community-wide vision and plan
and extended beyond just the implementation of
the YO grant.
Several communities referenced the structural and
economic impact that the YO funding had in the
community. The physical facilities that were rehabilitated
to serve as Youth Opportunity centers in
many instances will remain beyond the grant. One
economically distressed rural community that had
lost most of its industry base due to plant closures
and foreign trade, noted that the YO grant represented
the first major financial infusion of any
kind in long while. Thus, in addition to being a
catalyst for youth programming, it also served as
an economic stimulus for the local economy. YO
grant dollars created business opportunities for
small contractors and community-based providers
of goods and services. The case management
model for the YO grant required communities to
create many new job opportunities leading to
more dollars being spent by staff and youth in the
community. While there is no empirical analysis
that documents the magnitude of economic
impact, it is reasonable to presume that the buying
power associated with an infusion of several million
dollars over several years and the multiplier
effect as contractors, staff, and youth spent money
in the community had important economic and
community development impacts.
A significant challenge noted by several communities
was that the grant requirement restricted YO
activities to a specified geographic area—generally
within an empowerment zone or enterprise community.
The Department of Labor imposed geographic
boundaries in an effort to test the impact
of saturating a defined area. Many communities
indicated that the geographic parameters imposed
by the YO grant and the requirement that the
Youth Opportunity Grant retain a separate identity
complicated the community engagement process.
Connecting Systems and
Accessing Resources
In most economically distressed communities, the
systems and supports that should reinforce youth
development are strained and often dysfunctional.
Young people disconnect from the systems that are
charged with their education and care, often without
notice. There are few organized retrieval
options, and the well-intended efforts in place in
these communities are generally insufficient in
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
24
Dedicated leadership
matters: active mayoral
involvement
appears to correlate
highly with programmatic
success.
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
25
scale and coordination to have a significant
impact.
YO funding provided a vehicle for focusing, coordinating,
and building on the various efforts and
existing strengths in each community.
Communities were very successful in engaging
multiple youth-serving systems and resource
streams. The CLASP survey asked about the
nature of the involvement with several systems,
including public schools, welfare and child welfare,
juvenile justice, WIA one-stops, and post-secondary
systems. Respondents were asked to indicate
whether each system was involved in planning,
provided funding, provided dedicated staff,
provided special programming, established formal
referral agreements, or made informal referrals.
The analysis looked at how many systems were
formally engaged (beyond planning) and how
many systems provided resources in the form of
funds, staff, or special programs, and found substantial
success in this area. As indicated in the
chart below, 20 (91 percent) of the respondents
had established formal referral relationships with
at least three of the above mentioned youth-
Reflections from the field—Mobilizing Community Leadership
(selected comments from local WIB and YO Directors, gathered from surveys and focus groups)
In mobilizing a youth strategy it is important to use the economic development imperative versus
a social imperative. We need these youth to be productive in the economy. The demographics
of an aging workforce and growing skills gap—especially in the crafts and skilled trades—are
good reasons to make this investment. There is a positive return on investment for this type of
intervention. This makes a more compelling reason for business to get involved.
It was important that the YO process be viewed as leveraging funds and not soaking up funds.
The more YO funds are used to mobilize resources, broker services, and support communitybased
delivery, the greater the community-based constituency for sustainability.
Creating a comprehensive coordinated youth strategy takes committed stakeholders, willing to
collaborate, coordinate and bring resources to the table. However, the agencies and partners
concurrently experienced cutbacks in federal, state, and foundation funding. These cuts heightened
the need and willingness to collaborate and coordinate, but resulted in very little redirection
of dollars.
These youth efforts are often in competition with the early childhood, after school, or schoolbased
initiatives for budget attention and priority. Foundations and funding are more often sympathetic
to the children’s or in-school initiatives. Must form the constituency and the data to
elevate these youth, particularly drop-outs for attention.
Number of YO Respondents that engaged:
4 or more systems 3 systems 1 or 2 systems
In providing resources in the form 13 4 5
of funding, staff, or special programming
In establishing formal referral arrangements 15 5 2
serving systems. Seventeen (77 percent) of the YO
communities negotiated resources in the form of
funding, staff, or programming from at least three
systems. More than half of the communities
secured resources and had formal referral arrangements
from four or more systems.
The communities that were able to attract
resources from four or more systems also tended
to be those that:
¦ Secured the active involvement of their elected
officials.
¦ Attracted key leadership to serve on their
Youth Council or similar advisory group.
¦ Felt that their Youth Council engaged actively
in their strategic planning.
¦ Established formal referral relationships with
several systems.
Youth Opportunity communities had more success
with some systems than with others. The
chart above indicates that they made significant
inroads with the school system, the juvenile justice
system, the One-Stops, and the post-secondary
system.
The most significant observations related to the
how YO communities engaged the systems within
their respective communities are detailed below.
Secondary and Post-Secondary
Education Systems
The YO communities evidenced a high degree of
success in engaging the secondary and post-secondary
systems in non-traditional ways to keep struggling
students in school and provide options for
engagement of out-of-school youth. Undoubtedly,
this high level of formal connection between the
local education system and the YO projects contributed
to the relatively high level of participation
in education support activities and the high level of
post-secondary matriculation for the Youth Opportunity
enrollees described in previous sections.
In communities that reported accessing resources
from their school system, half reported their
school system provided funding, nearly half indicated
the schools dedicated staff to the effort, and
approximately two-thirds reported their districts
provided special programs. From the comments
accompanying the survey responses, much of these
resources were used for expanded academic support
and special programming as opposed to systemic
shifts in educational programming or funding.
These school-based efforts included the provision
of additional counseling and support staff for
YO students, tutorial assistance, establishment of
career-focused academies, and enhanced college
prep support. A brief description of the various
connections between the YO program and the
public school system is presented in Appendix I.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
26
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Child
Support
Post-
Secondary
WIA Juvenile
Justice
Child
Welfare
Welfare School
System
91%
50% 50%
68% 73%
95%
27%
Percent of Responding Communities with Formal Relationships
with Selected Systems
Survey respondents cited the following barriers to
formal connection with education systems:
¦ Difficulty in gaining school-based access for
case managers and other support staff.
¦ Confidentiality limitations on access to school
records or information regarding school
status.
¦ Decentralized school-based decision-making
made it difficult to put in place system-wide
policies.
¦ Shortfalls in the local district budget or funding
caps that precluded access or retrieval of
ADA (average daily attendance) funding to
support alternative program operation.
Several communities—Kansas City, Boston,
Tampa, Seattle, Cleveland, and Pima County—
rested substantial programmatic responsibility
within the school system and these areas reported
having considerable success with their drop out
prevention and/or their educational strategies for
out-of-school youth.
Among communities that reported accessing
resources from the post-secondary system, the support
was most often in the form of staff or special
programming. The special programming included
activities such as: SAT preparation; study skills and
soft skills classes; occupational training offerings;
financial aid counseling and scholarship assistance;
or college exposure (Los Angeles created
Community College Centers at each YO center
and UCLA provided summer immersion activities).
Additional detail is provided in Appendix 1.
Juvenile Justice System
The majority of communities engaged their juvenile
justice system in the design and planning of
the YO efforts and most succeeded in accessing
resources from the juvenile justice system.
Communities reported making inroads at varying
points in the justice system—with the police, the
prosecutor’s office, the courts, and at re-entry (see
Appendix 1). Demographic information was not
available on the number of young offenders
enrolled in Youth Opportunity program. A
CLASP survey of 193 drop-outs across 15 YO
sites revealed that approximately one-third had
been engaged in some form of criminal or gangrelated
activity. It appears that the YO communities
were active in reaching out to those youth in
the justice system. Addressing the complex needs
of those re-entering from incarceration was a common
area of concern (see Areas of Program
Challenge, below). Many areas had formal referral
agreements with the juvenile justice system to
receive youth as part of the diversion or release
programming. In follow-up discussion, YO directors
reported that many young offenders found
their way to the YO centers without formal referral
from the juvenile justice system. Communities
met with varied success in serving the complex
educational and support needs for this population
and this area emerged as one that several communities
expressed interest in networking with each
other for technical assistance and exchange.
Welfare and Child Welfare
The YO communities were not quite as successful
in accessing the welfare, child welfare, or child
support systems. The welfare or child welfare system
participated in the planning process in less
than one-third of the communities. Only two
communities reported having formal referral
arrangements with either of these systems. Despite
this lack of formal engagement in the design and
planning process, almost half of the communities
were able to get resource support, in the form of
dedicated staff or special programming, from their
welfare or child welfare agency suggesting that the
door may be open for greater collaboration.
WIA One-stop System
Start-up of the Youth Opportunity grants coincided
with the transition of the workforce system to meet
the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
27
of 1998. Communities planning YO implementation
were at the same time, in the midst of forming
new workforce boards, Youth Councils, and structuring
their WIA One-Stop systems. Despite the
substantial changes that were underway, the overwhelming
majority of the communities surveyed
reported success in engaging the One-Stop system
in planning. Seventy (70 percent) indicated that
they received resources from the One-Stop system
to support the YO efforts and nearly half had formal
referral arrangements in place with the One-
Stop system. This success is partly because in 17 of
the 22 communities, the workforce agency is also
the grant recipient for the YO grant. With one
exception, the five communities where the YO
grant is separately administered from the WIA
grants were just as successful in engaging the One-
Stop system.
Youth Councils—a new requirement under the
Workforce Investment Act—were just in their
start-up phase. Despite this, the majority of the
responding communities indicated having considerable
success in attracting key leadership to the
council and being highly successful in having the
council engage in policymaking and planning for
their youth efforts. This close connection between
YO and the WIA system will be of key importance,
in that WIA youth resources may be essential
to the sustainability of some of the delivery
capacity once YO funding ends.
Assembling and
Redirecting Funding
Earlier sections of this report noted that communities
were successful in accessing resources from
other systems including funding, staff, and special
programming. Questions were also asked on the
survey to get an indication of how successful communities
had been in accessing funding from
other systems or other funding streams. Many
communities noted that with the general cutbacks
in funding across all systems, it was easier to get
other agencies to extend staffing, services, or programmatic
support than it was to achieve any redirection
of funds. There were several communities
that were able to access funding from multiple
funding streams and systems.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
28
Provided Funding Support for YO Service Delivery
School Child Juvenile Adult Higher
System Welfare Welfare Justice WIA ADA Perkins Basic Ed Ed Act
Boston ¦ ¦ ¦
Brockton, MA ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Buffalo ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
CA Indian Manpower ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Consortium
Detroit ¦ ¦ ¦¦
Hartford ¦ ¦¦
Kansas City ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Los Angeles ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Lumber River ¦ ¦ ¦
Philadelphia ¦ ¦ ¦
Tucson ¦ ¦¦
San Diego ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Tampa ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦
Implementing
Comprehensive Program
Strategies
There were 25 questions on the survey designed to
provide information on how successful the YO
sites were in assembling the mix of programmatic
services and supports to provide such comprehensiveness.
The questions included: evidence of
youth engagement, ability to meet the needs of
youth in high-risk categories, good education support
strategies, strong employer engagement, and
solid work experience/work exposure component.
Areas of strength include: outreach and engagement
of youth, creating work experience and
internship opportunities, and developing effective
education support strategies for in-school and outof-
school youth. Those areas presenting most challenge
were those related to delivery of service to
youth in high risk categories—offenders, homeless
youth, and those with substance problems or limited
English ability. Engaging adults as mentors
also proved challenging.
By year four, the enrollment levels well exceeded
the goals set by the Department of Labor. The
existence of Youth Centers, the use of communications
strategies and events geared to young people,
the use of youth in peer-to-peer outreach, involvement
of youth in the design of facilities and in
management decision-making, the infusion of
arts, culture, sports and recreation activities, and
the use of youth in community mapping and survey
activity were all ways that communities made
the service more accessible and youth-friendly.
Almost all of the communities felt that they had
met with some success in the implementation of
drop out prevention and alternative education
strategies. Half of the communities felt that their
efforts were exemplary and others could learn
from what they had to share. There was a wide
range of educational approaches cited. They
included credit retrieval options, charter schools,
twilight schools, community-based alternative
schools, supported GED options, and linkage
with Job Corps. Others like Kansas City and
Seattle rested substantial responsibility for drop
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
29
Challenge Mixed success Considerable success
0 20 40 60 80 100
creating work experiences
creating private-sector internships
post-secondary linkages
alternative education strategies
drop out prevention strategies
youth with disabilities
teens with limited english
serving teen parents
success with homelessness
success with substance abuse
serving offenders
engaging mentors
youth engaged in design or delivery
retention
outreach
Areas of programmatic success and challenge
How successful was the community in the following areas:
out recovery with their school system and reported
considerable success. The diversity in approaches
across the sites, with reported success, is an important
by-product of the YO movement.
Most of the Youth Opportunity sites felt that they
achieved some success in the majority of programmatic
areas. The dark areas on the chart below
represent the programmatic areas where respondents
felt considerable exemplary practice is occurring.
The programmatic areas with the most light
blue are those that presented the most challenge.
Areas of Programmatic Strength
Outreach and Engagement of Youth. As the
enrollment and participation numbers in the earlier
section indicate, the programs were highly successful
in engaging both in-school and out-ofschool
youth. The Department of Labor estimated
that the YO program enrolled approximately 42
percent of the eligible youth (62 percent of eligible
out-of-school youth) in the target area. In discussions,
the local directors expressed feeling considerable
pressure to enroll quickly and to hit the
enrollment goals established by the Department of
Labor. There was the sense that the continued
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
30
From the field—Successful Strategies for Youth Engagement
(selected comments from local WIB and YO Directors, gathered from surveys and focus groups)
Detroit—The Youth senate provided critical programmatic feedback and ideas that were incorporated
into youth programming. Youth were also used as peer counselors and recruiters
Baltimore—Youth management teams participated in the facility design and made input into
program development and development of incentives. Youth were trained to serve on other
advisory councils. YO members developed monthly community service activities to give back to
the community. Youth also participated in the interview and selection of staff.
Houston—Each of Houston’s 4 youth centers had a Youth council, comprised of young people
from the center. They assisted with planning and implementing special services and were
encouraged to develop entrepreneurial programs to fund their activities. These activities were
used to develop leadership and business skills such as budgeting, planning, marketing, organization
development and follow through.
Seattle—Youth serving on the youth advisory board served a maximum two year term. They
received academic or vocational credit for their internship on the board and helped design all
facets of youth programming. They maintained the thematic activity calendar and planned and
implemented community service events.
Pima—Youth In Action Council (YIAC) members received facilitation training and designed an
ambitious peer survey process which ultimately reached 700 youth in Pima County. The YIAC
formed a service Learning Committee in Conjunction with a handful of paid internships. The allyouth
committee designed a service learning program to engage youth throughout the One-
Stop system in community service. Each month the program implemented community service
projects that were planned and managed entirely by youth. Each project culminated in a reflection
and celebration activity. The YIAC also publishes a monthly newsletter for the One-Stop
community.
appropriation of federal funds was, in fact, contingent
on being able to demonstrate that these local
interventions could be successful in attracting and
retaining youth, who traditionally have been very
hard to engage.
In one discussion of lessons learned from their
experience, the directors reflected on the challenges
posed by having to outreach and enroll
youth as they were concurrently hiring staff, renovating
facilities, negotiating for service, and establishing
systems. The feeling was that their ability
to adequately program for and service the youth
coming through the doors in first year was compromised
by the enormity of all the other tasks
that had to be put in place to assure quality delivery.
The consensus seemed to be that adequate
time needs to be allowed to put staff, facilities, and
systems in place to receive youth before the start
of enrollment. There was also the consensus that
the first year obstacles were replaced by robust
strategies for outreach and engagement that are
now highly successful.
Several components contributing to success in this
area—including the existence of Youth Centers as
the focal point of activity and staff support;
involvement of youth in planning, on youth advisory
boards and in program delivery; peer-to-peer
word of mouth; the infusion of arts, culture,
sports and recreation activities; and effective referral
relationships with multiple youth-serving
agencies.
The Arts played an important role in engaging
and retaining the interest of youth. Art-related
activities were evident across the network of YO
sites. The YO Memphis Academy offered a college
prep curriculum and offerings in visual and performing
arts including drawing, painting, graphic
design, dance, filmmaking, musical theatre, performing
band and recording Industry. In Pima,
Las Artes combined education with training and
work experience in the creation of mosaic tile public
art. The New Media Program, also in Pima,
combines pre-GED classes with training and experience
in video, TV and film production, website
design and computer animation. Lumber River
established a YO Records studio and a Broadcast
Media Academy at the public high school in
Robeson County Career Center. In San Diego,
Steps of Praise, a nationally acclaimed dance
troupe, partnered with the San Diego Youth
Opportunity program to provide dance workshops
and encourage creativity through art expression.
The National Endowment for the Arts partnered
with several YO communities—Milwaukee,
Oglala Sioux, San Diego, Memphis, Rural
Arkansas, Kansas City,
and Albany—in projects
related to dance,
drama, production,
graphic arts, murals,
photography, choir
and voice, and cultural
exposure. In
Houston, two dozen
young artists participated
in the design
and creation of a 1200 square foot ceramic tile
mosaic mural which adorns the external wall of a
newly built center (and the pages of this report).
The youth made the design, which reflects the values
and mission of the YO program.
In addition to setting high enrollment goals
for the YO sites, the Department of Labor established
the expectation that each month, 80 percent
of enrollees would be actively participating in
defined youth development activities. While tracking
and measuring this proved unwieldy for the
YO sites, it required them to incorporate a range
of activities that would motivate and sustain the
interest of young people.
Effective Education Support Strategies. Almost all
of the communities felt that they had met with
success in the implementation of drop out prevention
and alternative education strategies. Half of
the communities—Tucson, Boston, Brockton,
Lumber River, Baltimore, California Indian
Manpower Consortium, Tampa, Cleveland,
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
31
The YO sites succeeded
in meeting the monthly
requirement that
they engage 80 percent
of all enrollees in
activities.
Philadelphia, Seattle, Kansas City, Los Angeles,
Denver, and San Diego—felt that their efforts
were exemplary and others could learn from what
they had to share. A synopsis of some of the education
strategies in these communities is presented
in Appendix 1.
The high level of perceived success can probably
be attributed to several factors:
¦ The DOL guidance to the potential respondents
to the YO solicitation required that all
proposals be explicit about their strategies for
drop out prevention and drop out retrieval.
The Department of Labor in its SGA also
identified several education support models
that sites should consider replicating including
the Futures program in Baltimore, Rheedlan
Foundation efforts, Quantum Opportunity
Program, Community in Schools, LA’s Best
After-School Program, and Job Corp.
Variations of these models were employed by
the YO sites.
¦ Most of the communities that indicated that
they were highly successful with their educational
support strategies were those that had
successfully engaged their school systems in
planning and had negotiated resource support
from their school system.
¦ Most communities built upon the relationships
with their school district or their existing
alternative education deliverers to implement
or expand innovative approaches for connecting
drop-outs or struggling students (see
Appendix I).
Across the sites that indicated considerable success
in implementing alternative programs for drop
outs, a wide range of educational approaches were
cited—these included credit retrieval options,
charter schools, twilight schools, communitybased
alternative schools, supported GED options,
and linkage with Job Corps. Some communities
worked with their school system to build delivery
options outside the system. Others like Kansas
City and Tampa, rested substantial responsibility
for drop out recovery with their school system and
reported considerable success.
The activities noted below are examples of some
of the types of interventions that were employed
across the sites:
¦ Cleveland’s Quantum Opportunity Program,
Baltimore’s Futures Plus, Seattle’s In-School
Connection Program, and Brockton’s In-
School Access Center all provided students
with school-based staff support, intensive
advocacy, academic support, career exploration,
cultural activities, and connections to
community service or work experience.
¦ Memphis established the YO! Memphis
Academy—offering College Prep Curriculum,
Tutoring/Intensive Test Prep, an Honors
Program and College Credit Courses.
¦ In several sites, the local districts or colleges
created special academies or occupationally
focused programs. Houston, Tampa,
Cleveland, and Baltimore all had programs
focused on Fire and Rescue. Lumber River
established broadcast television academies at
the Public Schools of Robeson County Career
Center and a Mixed Media Program at the
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. In
Tampa, the school district created “Summer
Academies” providing occupational training in
areas such as Fire Rescue and Certified
Nursing Assistant. The Tucson Medical
Center provided YO students with entry
training for the Health Care field.
¦ In Seattle, the University of Washington
Pipeline Project recruited, trained, and placed
tutors in YO schools and centers to help
youth perform at higher academic levels and
prepare for college.
Serving the educational needs of youth in these
communities where the drop out rates exceed 50
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
32
percent requires a diversity of approaches in the
same community. The range of educational
approaches employed by the YO sites provide an
important collection of practice that can benefit
other communities confronting the same challenge.
While many of the approaches are relatively
young, these collective efforts are a very fertile
arena for continued study, sharing, nurturing, and
technical support.
Work Experience Opportunities. As noted earlier,
the YO sites appeared to have considerable success
in creating work experience, internship, and community
service opportunities for the youth enrolled
in the program. More than 50,000 such opportunities
were created and more than half of those
responding to the survey indicated that they had
considerable success in this area. This is not surprising
given that the YO activities are well anchored in
the workforce development system in most of the
communities and many have a long history of experience
playing the intermediary role in the schoolto-
work and other employer engagement efforts.
Providing high-quality, hands-on experiences to
acquaint youth with the demands of the workplace
and develop their employability skills
appeared to be a priority across most of the sites.
More than half of the communities responded
that they had considerable success in developing
high-quality internships, work experiences, or
community service experiences in either the public
or private sector. Several communities—Tucson,
Boston, Lumber River, Brockton, Kansas City,
Denver, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angelesindicated
considerable success in accessing paid
internships in the private sector.
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
33
1. Level I, for youth at high risk, features
an intensive focus on training and coaching
on employability skills and teambuilding
and participants complete a
short-term community service project.
4. Level IV placements for older youth are in primary
labor-market positions in the private sector
or long-term occupational skills training
programs. Career Specialists provide advice and
support to individuals at this level, with a view
to bringing youth to a point where they can
compete independently in the labor market.
3. Level III placements may be in either privatesector
employment at a basic entry-level job
or occupational skills training programs with
Career Specialists providing advice and
coaching on an individual basis.
In Pima, vocational high school students progress from a classroom employability-skills training phase
to a structured work crew experience to an individualized placement in a public sector internship.
Students participating in their Rewarding Youth Achievement program go through a career exploration
phase on a college campus to prepare them for a complementary work experience.
The sequential models that were put in place in Boston and Pima are worth noting. Boston’s fourtiered
employment system transitions youth from supported community-based employment to competitive
private sector employment. The levels in Boston’s Transitional Employment System (TES) are:
2. Level II provides a stipend accompanying
a community-based internship.
Though supported through a weekly
employability skills support group,
youth work more independently in the
community than in Level I.
Many YO sites linked to existing intermediaries to
broker with business in the establishment of work
experiences and internships. WorkReady
Philadelphia coordinates public resources and private
sector resources to provide work exposure and
career preparation experiences for youth.
WorkReady includes a training curriculum for
youth and adult mentors as well as project-based
learning and portfolio components. Youth can
earn credit in certain placements in addition to
work experience. The San Diego Partnership’s
School to Work Intermediary and the Pima Pledge
a Job Intermediary both assisted YO participants
in connecting to work experiences and preparatory
support.
Areas of Programmatic Challenge
Based on the survey responses and the feedback
from directors, there were several difficult areas
related to program implementation.
Inadequacy of Planning Lead Time. There was
consistent feedback that the planning lead time
was inadequate for an undertaking of this scale.
Many felt pressure to enroll youth even though
the facility, staffing, and programming were not
fully in place. Awardees were announced in
March. Grants were finalized 60 to 90 days thereafter
(depending on negotiations) thereby giving
the authority to spend. All communities were
expected to have their YO center doors open with
youth enrolled by the beginning of September.
Feedback from directors suggests that the time
frame was too aggressive for an undertaking of this
magnitude. Several indicated that it undercut the
ability to nurture relationships and achieve up
front buy-in needed for ultimate sustainability.
Others commented that the lead time was insufficient
for hiring and training staff and putting
management systems in place. There was a general
feeling that the initial start-up complications were
overcome as the program reached a more steady
state. It was believed that the initial pressure for
enrollment was to secure future congressional
appropriations for the YO effort. Ultimately, those
appropriations were cut assuring no expansion or
extension of Youth Opportunity Movement.
Several directors expressed the concern that startup
challenges may have negatively impacted first
year operations, outcomes, and early perceptions
about the YO movement.
Recruitment of Adult Mentors. It is not surprising
that finding mentors for older and often troubled
youth posed a challenge. Most communities
reported either mixed success or lack of success in
this area. Only respondents from Kansas City,
Washington, DC, and the California Indian
Manpower Consortium reported being very successful
in this area. Reasons cited for this challenge
included:
¦ The difficulty in recruiting adults who are
good role models and are willing to make the
type of firm and sustained commitment that
is needed from a volunteer.
¦ The need for significant level of staff support
to address the recruitment, matching, training,
ongoing problems that arise.
¦ Concerns related to accountability, security,
and liability.
Some communities implemented creative
approaches to address these problems. Pima
County structured its case management staffing to
maximize opportunities for mentoring by assigning
one case manager to each youth, often matching
the youth with a case manager at an agency in their
own neighborhood or school. They trained volunteer
worksite supervisors to provide mentoring.
Programs and Services for Youth at Very High
Risk. This was cited repeatedly, specifically, related
to those returning from incarceration, those with
substance problems, homeless teens, and those
with limited English speaking ability. Factors that
were cited as contributing to the difficulty included:
lack of resources in the community to address
intensive service and support needs, and inadequate
housing and shelter options for homeless
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
34
youth and young parents. More active participation
of the welfare, child welfare, and health and
mental health systems in the design and implementation
of the YO activities might have resulted
in better access to the supports needed for these
difficult populations. Many of the youth finding
their way into the YO program had a history in
the foster care, juvenile services, welfare, protective
services, possibly mental health systems. Several
sites indicated a desire for technical assistance and
networking to learn what has been effective in
meeting the special needs of the most troubled
youth and strategies for better accessing the support
of multiple systems to support those services.
Some YO sites indicated considerable success with
special populations, and could be valuable
resources for networking.
Media Engagement. The inability to effectively
engage the local media was cited as a concern by
several respondents. Very few communities indicated
having success in engaging the local media
in any sustained way. The YO directors identified
communications and marketing as an area of collective
concern. Respondents expressed frustration
over the difficulty in getting media attention
switched from the negative coverage of youth to
positive activity, and frustration that outside of
their network there is little knowledge of the YO
efforts.
Data Reporting. While most communities effectively
used the data management system mandated
by the Department of Labor for tracking and
reporting, the system fell short of providing access
to the type of reporting needed to document
impact. The Department of Labor prohibited local
sites from using the federal YO funds for evaluation
or analysis, because it had contracted for an
extensive evaluation. While most sites received
monthly statistical reports, no information on
impact or evaluations has been provided to the
communities.
Engaging the Business
Community
Survey respondents indicated mixed success in
engaging the business community. A notable
accomplishment is that two-thirds of the YO communities
reported considerable success in either
accessing private sector internship positions, creating
customized training opportunities, or establishing
effective intermediary relationships to coordinate
access to jobs or business resources. It was
clear in the survey responses that all of the YO
communities valued the role of the business sector
and sought to actively engage that community in
the planning and in opening up opportunities for
both in school and out of school youth.
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
35
Communities with Successful Interventions for Difficult Youth Populations
The communities in the table below indicated on the survey that they had considerable success—
worth sharing—with the special populations below.
Special Group Communities indicating having Considerable Success
Incarcerated youth Pima, Boston, Brockton, San Francisco, Tampa, Los Angeles, Hartford
Limited English Ability Washington, DC, San Francisco, Buffalo
Parenting teens Pima, Washington, DC, Brockton, Seattle
Homeless youth Boston, Pima, Washington, DC, Seattle, Denver
Substance impaired youth Brockton, Denver, Seattle, San Diego
Youth with disabilities Pima, Lumber River, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Detroit
Interestingly, when asked separately about success
creating private sector opportunities for in-school
youth versus out-of-school youth, sites reported
being equally successful. This is encouraging in
that it suggests that communities recognized that
exposure to the private sector workplace and to
careers was an essential component in programming
for both in school and out of school youth.
An informal survey in 2003 of the directors of all
the YO sites regarding their business partnerships
revealed that the communities had made progress
in gaining access beyond the traditional retail and
food service establishments that traditionally hire
youth. Partnerships with businesses in the health
industry was the most predominant, followed by
retail, tourism and entertainment (not including
hotels), communications and technology, banking,
and then, manufacturing, warehousing, business
support and hospitality. Most of these partnerships
yielded internships, exposure, business participation
in job readiness preparation, and opportunities
for placements.
Respondents reported greater challenge in engaging
the business community in more formal sustained
efforts to create pipelines. The overwhelming
majority of communities reported that while
they had met with some success working with
employers to identify the growth areas of the
economy and the entry-level skill set, they were
much less successful in engaging business or
industry representatives in the development of
curriculum or special training programs, pathways
or pipelines to specific industries. Respondents
provided some possible reasons for this:
¦ Much of the early YO activity occurred at a
time of economic down-turn. Many companies
were laying-off and therefore the environment
was not conducive for bringing in
younger workers.
¦ There was competition from adult workers for
the limited jobs that were available, meaning
youth were not the priority for hiring.
¦ Pressures at the workplace related to lay-offs
and downsizing made it difficult for employers
to release staff to participate in the level of
discussion necessary to build effective pipeline
programs.
Several communities indicated that their success in
connecting youth to employment opportunities
was directly related to job development and the
one-on-one work between job coaching staff and
youth, and with employers to make the matches.
Pima County (Tucson) reported having success
using an OJT model, where employers provided
very specific information on the competencies to
be gained before an intern was assigned. They
reported success with most of those entering OJT
being hired into positions. Washington, DC partnered
with the unions to expose youth to the construction
trades.
Baltimore also reported success in using paid
internships in the private sector as a gateway to
employment in higher-wage jobs. Job developers
solicited employer partnerships where youth could
be trained in technical workplace skills for occupations.
Interested employers worked with the job
developer to structure the internship. The wages
for the youth were subsidized by the Baltimore
Youth Opportunity System with the formal agreement
that the employer will identify positions
within their business or organization in which the
youth could be hired upon completion of the
internship. The youth’s supervisor and the job
coach monitor closely the youth’s development of
the essential workplace skills.
Houston, Baltimore, Tampa, Cleveland all established
pipeline programs to introduce and prepare
young people for careers in the field of fire and
rescue. ¦
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
36
The infusion of the YO resources in these
communities at a time when the workforce
delivery system was in transition, the economy
was recessing, resources to other youth service
organizations and systems were retrenching, and
youth unemployment was on the rise created a
synergy in many communities. Communities
coalesced around the older youth agenda, creating
relationships and interventions that extend
beyond the YO boundaries and will most probably
continue beyond the grant funding. YO also
created a national movement uniting communities
in a process of learning from each other and
building community capacity to implement
and manage this effort of significant scale and
importance.
Following are the conclusions and recommendations
based on observation and analysis.
1. The Youth Opportunity experience demonstrates
that young people by the thousands
are anxious for a chance to be reconnected.
When presented with options to re-engage in
schooling, prepare for careers, and transform
their paths, youth by the thousands connected
through Youth Opportunity. The loss of such
resource and infrastructure in these most distressed
communities would be tragic.
2. Communities can manage to scale. In highly
distressed communities, where thousands of
teens drop out and disconnect, a single program
intervention can’t change the landscape
for these youth. A well coordinated crosssystem
approach with all partners on board
can make a difference. Such complicated programming
requires leadership, management
skills, administrative capacity, and delivery
capacity. A lingering question has always been:
can community capacity be developed to manage
such large scale efforts? YO communities
persevered through the start-up challenges and
in most communities appear to have demonstrated
that, given the resources and the planning
time, such comprehensive coordinated
programming can be implemented.
3. The grant requirement that multiple systems
and resources must be involved was essential
37
Chapter 5: Conclusions and
Implications of Findings
in bringing disparate efforts to the table. The
directives of funders affect how programs and
planning occurs in a community. Often, grant
makers, federal and otherwise, send funding
through a system or entity without any real
requirement for involvement of other systems
or existing infrastructure. This contributes to
the fragmented landscape of youth delivery
that is duplicative and inefficient. In resourcechallenged
communities, every incentive
should be used to leverage systems and
resources to work in tandem to address the
youth challenge.
4. A convening entity is necessary. A Youth
Council (or similar vehicle) comprising appropriate
membership can be a vehicle for creating
a strategic vision for youth—in particular,
those falling outside the mainstream—and for
mobilizing all segments of the community to
be part of the design and benchmarking
progress.
5. Local and state officials have an important
role to play. It appeared that those communities
that indicated success in engaging their
mayor or local official also had greater success
in accessing multiple systems. Accessing state
education funds and connecting with the justice
and child welfare systems require the
active involvement of state systems. Navigating
the state/local relationship to create flexible,
innovative system connections on behalf
of drop-outs, foster youth, and offenders
requires active state leadership.
6. Local delivery capacity is directly related to
the ability to hire and maintain quality
staff. Most YO sites invested in recruiting,
training, and developing quality case management
staff. The vagaries of funding make
it difficult for communities to maintain
high-quality direct service capacity.
Developing and maintaining the professional
capacity in youth service delivery is a critical
challenge to be overcome if communities are
to make a substantial impact on the negative
indicators.
7. YO efforts to engage drop-outs warrant further
study. Communities with large numbers
of drop-outs will need to explore multiple
avenues for connecting these youth to quality
education options. Many of the approaches
employed in the YO communities are promising,
and can guide this effort. Unfortunately,
some of these newer approaches may succumb
to a lack of funding. Given the tremendous
need for effective educational alternatives,
these collective YO efforts are a fertile arena
for continued study, sharing, nurturing, and
technical support.
8. The child welfare system and the mental
health system must be pulled into the local
visioning, strategic planning, and delivery.
They appeared to be tangential in the YO
efforts. YO directors indicated substantial
participation of former foster care youth, of
offenders, and of homeless youth. These
youngsters benefit most from the supportive
programming with caring adult advocacy
and hands-on labor market experiences that
YO program provides. But, they also come
with greater challenges requiring the services
of health and mental health professionals.
With the increased focus in WIA reauthorization
for greater service to the most at risk
youth, the participation of these two systems
is critical.
9. The YO communities were very successful
in motivating youth to post-secondary aspirations.
A separate CLASP survey of nearly
200 drop-outs enrolled in YO revealed that
40 percent indicated their desire to enroll in
college. Of those with college ambitions, 65
percent had specific majors in mind.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
38
Changing these youth mindset is a tremendous
accomplishment.5 Making their aspirations
a reality requires greater support for
non-traditional students matriculating in
college.
10. Economically stressed communities can’t
replace the millions being lost in federal
funding. The provision for Youth
Opportunity Grants in the 1998 WIA legislation
was built on lessons from several years of
prior demonstration funding. It was grounded
in the findings from years of research on effective
practice. WIA reauthorization is eliminating
Youth Opportunity Funding in lieu of
Challenge Grants, not necessarily targeted to
distressed communities. The abandonment so
quickly of a well thought-out, targeted intervention,
when drop out rates for poor urban
minority youth exceed 50 percent, should be
reconsidered.
11. Foundations and funders are needed to sustain
the innovation. Foundations and other
funders may be reluctant to simply step in
and replace retrenching federal dollars. But
when federal interventions give rise to promising
approaches or interventions, foundations
can incubate these efforts and assisting in their
evaluation, dissemination, and replication.
Many promising—in some cases groundbreaking
—approaches were implemented in
the YO communities; some will suffer not
because they aren’t effective, but because the
available resource support is insufficient to
nurture their growth and development in
complicated environments. This is particularly
true of fledgling arrangements with the school
system and justice system.
12. There is a need for expanded participation of
employers and business leaders in crafting
pathways for youth to connect with highgrowth,
high-skill areas of the economy. The
YO effort in many communities brought
together the secondary, post-secondary, and
workforce systems to structure support for
non-traditional students. The business sector
can play an incredibly important role in helping
these systems define the skill set, exposure,
and experiences that can create a pipeline of
well-trained candidates for skilled jobs of the
future. Several YO sites noted the challenge
involved in delivering young people with the
requisite occupational skills for success. This
can not be accomplished without the participation
and willingness of business and industry
at the table. It is worth further exploring
ways to provide incentives and supports to
expand business and industry alliances. ¦
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
39
5 Harris, L. Don’t Hang Up—Their Future’s on the Line: What Youth Say About Being Reconnected. Center for Law and Social
Policy, pending publication Spring 2006.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
40
Appendix 1: YO Community Collaborations
with Other Systems
This appendix contains a brief description of the collaborative efforts in which YO communities were engaged.
YO Collaborations with Secondary and Post-Secondary Systems
Lumber River, Lumber River established broadcast television academies at the Public Schools of Robeson
NC County Career Center and a Mixed Media Program at the University of North Carolina
at Pembroke. They partnered with the Basic Education Department of Robeson
Community College (RCC) to engage out-of-school youth in a high school diploma
program. RCC also established an early college program with the intent of attracting
students who may not be considering higher education. In that program, students are
charged no tuition for the college-level courses. They are asked to follow the rules set by
the public schools until they begin taking full-time college courses during their fifth year.
Seattle, WA The University of Washington Pipeline project recruits, trains, and places tutors in YO
schools and centers to help youth perform at higher academic levels and to prepare them
for college. YO participants were assisted by the Seattle School Connection Program,
which provided prevention and intervention services for students who were increasingly
absent from school and experiencing school failure and to those returning to regular
school after completing a re-entry program. YO students were enrolled into this program
based on an assessment of risk factors. Individual plans were developed for each youth,
building on his/her strengths and engaging the family in a set of activities, agreements,
supports, and incentives to address the truancy and behavioral issues.
41
Appendices
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
42
YO Collaborations with Secondary and Post-Secondary Systems – continued
Seattle, WA YO partnered with the Seattle Interagency School to provide open-entry enrollment,
continued mentoring, community service, individual assessment, individualized instruction, and
academic remediation. The Interagency school serves youth who have dropped out of
school, are homeless, street-involved, or are low skilled and have been unsuccessful in
other programs.
Baltimore, MD Baltimore expanded its Futures Plus model for grades 9 through 12; it offers comprehensive,
year-round, student-centered programming including intensive advocacy, academic
support, youth development activities, career exploration, coaching for personal
strengths, college tours, cultural & arts trips, summer work and enrichment experiences.
Baltimore also developed a “funds following students” credit recovery program for out-ofschool
youth. The YO program partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools to reengage
high school drop-outs and re-enroll them in community-based diploma programs
run by contract providers. The youth were able to earn a regular high school diploma in a
small, community-based learning environment that could better meet students’ academic
needs, individual strengths, and circumstances. Baltimore had a strong partnership with
the College Bound Foundation to increase youth enrollment in college by placing staff at
the YO Centers and providing SAT prep, college tours, fee waivers, and information.
San San Diego established a charter school on-site at the YO Center to provide small class
Diego, CA room and individualized instruction and academic guidance to complete the high school
diploma. Also provided on site was psychological/social counseling using a program
partner’s funding through the CA Endowment Foundation.
Tampa, FL In partnership with the school district, YO Tampa established several award-winning
“Summer Academies” such as Fire Rescue and certified nursing assistant (CNA) occupational
training programs. The Tampa school district delivered all of the YO tutoring,
remediation, GED prep, and occupational skills training through its Career and
Technical Education division.
Cleveland, Cleveland established a collaborative project with the Cleveland Municipal School
OH District (CMSD) to create the Twilight school. Intended for youth who had dropped out
of school, it was a full-service high school taught by CMSD teachers and offering a
CMSD diploma. The Twilight School provided nontraditional teaching that was tailored
to each individual so high school drop-outs and students with special needs were able to
earn a diploma at their own pace.
Quantum, an in-school support program, was started as part of the original grant. The
program worked directly with area high schools to provide long-term mentoring and
after-school activities with the goal of increasing each member’s chances of graduating
from high school and planning for after school. Members were each assigned a counselor
who guided them through the program. After-school activities included community
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
43
YO Collaborations with Secondary and Post-Secondary Systems – continued
Cleveland, service, life skills training, youth development projects, and visits to art and cultural
OH, cont. museums. In addition, Quantum arranged academic tutoring and offered a financial
stipend based on performance.
Cuyahoga Community College partnered with YO Cleveland to introduce program
members to higher education. TRI-C provided computer-assisted and traditional
classroom learning modules to help prepare YO members for college-level work. In
addition, it offered services that were designed to help acclimate YO members to a
college atmosphere.
Pima Pima YO program partnered with Pima Vocational High School, which is a state-charted
County, diploma program combining instruction with individualized support and work experience
AZ in public-sector internships. The program established an occupational training voucher
system to maximize post-secondary access to occupational training and expand the
number and selection of occupation training programs that youth could pursue. The
vendor list includes technical colleges and non-profit training providers. The YO program
also bought education classes from the largest school district’s extensive technical
education resources and made them available to YO members, including drop outs and
those residing outside the district.
Los Angeles, The Los Angeles YO effort assembled over 30 Partners in education to create a range of
CA opportunities for in-school and out-of-school youth. The partners included technical
high schools, charter schools, alternative schools, community colleges and four-year universities,
community-based programs, and vocational skills centers. Upon enrollment,
each youth developed a plan that identified short- and long-range goals and connected
them with the most appropriate education and employment preparation options.
College Career Centers were housed at the Youth Opportunity offices in Watts and Boyle
Heights. The College Career Centers were set up to be a comfortable place for students to
research colleges and speak with recruiters and staff. The College Career Centers allowed
students to explore possibilities in postsecondary education. YO provided students with
the information and materials they needed to go to college. Other program supports were
provided—including (1) ACT/SAT preparation offered in partnership with Kaplan,
UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program, and UCLA Center for Experiential Education
and Service Learning; (2) a public speaking class provided via the community college;
(3) summer immersion programs at UCLA; and (3) a student/parent workshop.
Kansas City, The Kansas City Public Schools out-stationed a full-time staff person to the One-Stop
MO Center. This staff person had access to school systems records and support programs and
was responsible for connecting drop-outs to the most appropriate educational option. The
school system was cited as one of the most productive providers of educational services for
out-of-school youth.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
44
YO Collaborations with Secondary and Post-Secondary Systems – continued
Boston, MA Boston engaged the Boston Public School’s Director of Alternative Education, many
headmasters from the district high schools, and the guidance department, and worked
with its extensive network of community based alternatives to provide education options
for out-of-school youth.
Memphis, TN YO! Memphis Academy—a secondary school offering college-prep curriculum, tutoring,
intensive test preparation, an honors program, college credit courses, and a Visual Arts
Connection—was established. Students can explore drawing/painting and graphic design,
forensics, and performing arts including dance, filmmaking, musical theatre, performing
band, and recording industry classes.
Hartford, CT The site established a Diploma Plus program in cooperation with (and housed within) the
Hartford Public Schools’ adult education system. Internships and career work experiences
were incorporated as an integral part of curriculum. The “Plus” phase included courses at
Capital Community College.
Hartford also established a Credit Retrieval program for out-of-school youth and those
involved in the justice system. The college prep program will have helped almost 300
youth into college by the fall of 2005.
The Youth Opportunity effort strengthened School Prevention Teams in several schools,
linking school attendance and achievement data to the YO database (Hartford Connects)
to have a real-time, comprehensive in-school youth database to track outcomes.
Brockton, MA Brockton began a distance learning program for young people seeking a GED but unable
to make it to class due to full-time work, child care issues, and other barriers. Donated
computers were placed into member’s homes along with GED software. An instructor
worked with students via the Internet, telephone, and home visits. This program was successful
and received continued funding through the Department of Education.
An Access Center was created at the Brockton High School and school case managers
were co-located there during the school day to be available to YO members. The Access
Center provided supervision to youth during their directed academics, lunch breaks, and
after school. The center also provided one-on-one tutoring, and peer mentoring and
tutoring alternatives as well as career exploration. Center staff tracked the academic and
disciplinary progress of the members and offered support and referrals to the appropriate
resources to help with youth development. Youth advocates were stationed at the community
college to provide support to youth as they transitioned to higher education.
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
45
YO Collaborations with the Justice System
Houston, TX The Houston YO program worked with the juvenile justice system to identify youth
before they were released and to develop planning as to how the workforce system would
assist them in their educational and employment goals.
Brockton, MA Brockton established strong relationships with the court system, the juvenile justice system,
the Department of Youth Services, and Plymouth County House of Corrections.
Young offenders are recruited and offered support, guidance, and connections to education
and employment opportunities. This strong partnership assisted Brockton in creating
the Gateway Program of the Youthful Offenders Demonstration Project.
Tampa, FL YO Tampa has established an agreement with the local State Attorney's office that identifies
YO as an official diversionary program for adjudicated youth.
Los Angeles, The Intensive Transition “IT” Team has created a partnership between the County
CA Probation Department, Los Angeles YO Movement (LAYOM), WIA, and the City of Los
Angeles Information Technology staff to create a new referral system for probation clients.
The IT team helps probation camp returnees enroll in LAYOM or WIA services within
48 hours of their release.
Boston, MA The Boston YO program worked with the Department of Youth Services to connect
young offenders to their transitional jobs program, providing work, stipends, connections
to education, and case management support.
Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s three YO Centers, now known as E3 Power (Empowerment, Education and
PA Employment), have partnered with the City’s Department of Human Services to enhance
community reintegration efforts on behalf of youth returning from juvenile placement
facilities. Returning youth deemed most likely to experience recidivism participate in stepdown
activities at E3 during their first three months after release for up to four hours
each day, 6-7 days/week. Programming offered to youthful offenders includes academic
support, life skills training and employment-related activities, including work readiness
training, referrals to employment and job support. In addition, youthful offenders have
access to a range of other programs and services offered through E3. The E3 centers
continue to serve this population in addition to other populations of disconnected.
Hartford, CT Youth involved with the justice system are referred directly to a youth development specialist
who develops a service plan and enrolls them in the most appropriate educational
option—for example, credit retrieval, Diploma Plus, Credit Diploma program, GED, or
a return regular school. Assigned staff worked directly with Community Court and other
justice agencies. YO staff provided justice-involved youth with employability skills, work
experience, and jobs.
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
46
Washington, Re-Focus was launched as a pilot project involving a collaborative partnership with the
DC juvenile courts, government probation and retention organizations and the DC YO program,
to provide anger management/conflict resolution, substance abuse education, life
skills and peer adult mentoring to improve behavior and attitude of youth involved with
the criminal justice system. These services supported youth for transitioning to education,
employment and occupational skills training.
YO Collaborations with the Justice System continued
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
47
Appendix II: Communities Indicating Success
Worth Sharing in Various Areas
On the CLASP Survey “Lessons from the Youth Opportunity” respondents were asked to identify areas of
considerable success that they felt were worth sharing or replicating. They were also asked to identify the
systems which provided resource support to the effort. The charts below identify the areas of strength identified
by specific communities.
Mobilizing Leadership/ Comprehensive Preventive
Strategic Planning or Alternative Programming
Communities below indicated high level of success Communities below indicated considerable success
in engaging their political and community leadership in developing programming that combined
in elevating youth issues and supporting the YO effort education, work experience, and support
Baltimore, MD| Boston, MA| Baltimore, MD| Boston, MA| Brockton, MA|
California Indian Manpower Consortium| California Indian Manpower Consortium|
Detroit, MI| Hartford, CT| Denver, CO| Hartford, CT| Houston, TX|
Kansas City, MO| Memphis, TN| Kansas City, MO| Los Angeles, CA|
Pima County, AZ (Tucson)| San Diego, CA| Lumber River, NC| San Diego, CA|
San Francisco, CA| Tucson, AZ|
Connecting Multiple Systems
Communities below were successful in getting resource support from at least four of the following systems: school,
juvenile justice, WIA, welfare, child welfare, or post-secondary.
Juvenile Welfare/ Child Post-
Schools Justice Child Support Welfare WIA secondary
Albany ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Brockton ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Buffalo ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Detroit ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Hartford ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Houston ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Kansas City ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Los Angeles ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Lumber River ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Memphis ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Philadelphia ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Pima County (Tucson) ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
Tampa ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
48
Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience
Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities
49
Appendix III: Contact Information for Respondents
to the Youth Opportunity: Lessons Learned Survey
YO Site Organization Contact Information
Albany, GA Albany/Dougherty Lynn Borders, Executive Director
Community Partnership partners@adpartnership.org
Baltimore, MD Mayor’s Office of Karen Sitnick, Director
Employment ksitnick@oedworks.com
Development Ernest Dorsey, YO Project Director
edorsey@oedworks.com
Boston, MA Boston Office of Jobs and Conny Doty, Director
Community Services/EDIC conny.doty.jcs@ci.boston.ma.us
Brockton, MA Brockton Area Private Kevin O’Rourke, Executive Director,
Industry Council korourke@bapic.org
Lisa Johnson, Director of Special Projects
lmjohnson@massasoit.mass.edu
Buffalo & Erie County, Workforce Development Colleen Cummings, Director
NY Consortium ccummings@wdcinc.org;
California and California Indian Lorenda Sanchez, Administrator
Western Nevada Manpower Consortium and Project Director
lorendas@cimcinc.com
Cleveland, OH YO! Cleveland Reuben Sheperd, YO Project Director
reubensheperd@vgsjob.org
Denver, CO Mayor’s Office of Cecilia Sanchez de Ortiz, Director
Workforce Development cec.ortiz@ci.denver.co.us
Seth Howsden, Director of Youth Services
seth.howsden@ci.denver.co.us
Detroit, MI Detroit Workforce Cylenthia LaToye Miller, Director
Development Department millerc@emptrain.ci.detroit.mi.us
Chantelle DeVaughn
cdevaughn@sermetro.org
District of Columbia Department of Gregory Irish, Director
Employment Services gregory.irish@dc.gov
Hartford, CT Capital Region Workforce Tom Phillips, President
Development Board thomas.phillips@po.state.ct.us
Jim Boucher
jboucher@capitalworkforce.org
Houston, TX Houston Works Terry Hudson, Director
hudson_t@houworks.com
Kansas City, KS Kansas City Full Clyde McQueen, President and CEO
Employment Council, Inc cmcqueen@feckc.org
YO Site Organization Contact Information
Los Angeles, CA Community Development Robert Sainz, General Manager
Department rsainz@cdd.lacity.org
Lumber River, NC Lumber River Council Dana Powell, Director
dip@mail.lrcog.dst.nc.us
Memphis, TN YO! Memphis Marie Milam, Executive Director
mmilam@yomemphis.net
Philadelphia, PA Workforce Investment Sallie Glickman, Executive Director
Board of Philadelphia sglickman@pwib.org
Philadelphia Youth Laura Shubilla, President
Network lshubilla@pyninc.org
Pima County (Tucson), Pima County Workforce Arnold Palacios, Director of Youth Services
AZ Development Board apalacios@csd.pima.gov
San Diego, CA San Diego Workforce Larry Fitch, President and CEO
Partnership lgfitch@workforce.org
Margie Rosas, YO Grant Manager
margier@workforce.org
San Francisco, CA Private Industry Council Tyrone Jackson
of San Francisco tjackson@picsf.org
Seattle, WA Seattle-King County Kris Stadelman, President and CEO
Workforce Development kstad@seakingwdc.org
Council Daniel Fey, Director of Advancement
dfey@seakingwdc.org
Tampa, FL Tampa Youth Dori Blanc
Opportunity Movement dori.blanc@tampaymca.org
CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL POLICY
50

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