Moving the Money: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Local Action Tools

ForumFYI logoThe American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is a once-in-a-generation funding opportunity for our communities. We need to take action to make sure that the historic $1.9 trillion investment to help states and communities recover does not leave young people out, especially Opportunity Youth (young people ages 16 to 24 who are not in school or the workforce), who have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

As Marlén Mendoza explains in the Youth Action Hour video short below, ARPA includes $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds under ARPA. These are “flexible” dollars that can be used to meet local needs. The Forum for Youth Investment and our partners are using our SparkAction engagement platform to share tools to help you engage your state and local leaders to make the right decisions.

News & Tools


Tapping New Federal Funding Streams for Older Youth

October 24, 2022 Webinar Recording

The Forum for Youth Investment, National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) held an October 2022 webinar to highlight opportunities to use new federal funding streams to support the needs of older youth (ages 16 to 24), youth involved in the child welfare and youth justice systems, and young people who are not connected to school or the workforce. Click the video to play, or watch on our YouTube channel.


“Don’t Leave Us Out” Tapping ARPA for Older Youth

June 29, 2022 Webinar Recording

The Forum for Youth Investment and the Children’s Funding Project co-hosted a conversation about leveraging ARPA for older youth, especially youth who are not connected to the workforce or school. Watch or listen to learn about opportunities to influence ARPA spending, and hear how Los Angeles County and Minneapolis, Minnesota, engaged young people and communities to advocate for ARPA investments. Click the video to play, or watch on our YouTube channel.


Leveraging New Federal Funds for Older Youth
For states and localities: tap into Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funds for older youth and systems-involved youth.

Tapping ARPA for Older Youth: 3 Action Steps
We can still influence how ARPA funds are spent in our communities. This quick guide can help advocates to take action on the flexible State and Local Fiscal Relief Funds. View as PDF.

ARPA statesFor Policymakers:
Directing ARPA Funding in States & Localities to Older Youth  
For state, county, and local decision-makers: tips to direct ARPA funds to address key needs in communities. View as PDF.

Understanding ARPA

Check out these short video explainers to help you understand ARPA and why it matters.

ARPA Basics

Understanding the Flexible Funds

Bright Spots: Ideas from Across the U.S.

bright spot

What are states and municipalities doing to make sure young people aren’t left out of the recovery supports? Here are some “bright spots” to inspire action in your community.

minn Minneapolis: three-year funding for culturally relevant afterschool programs in neighborhoods highly impacted by the pandemic. Read the Profile (PDF).

California Los Angeles County: Using ARPA funding to expand access to job training and supports for Opportunity Youth. Read the Profile (PDF).

STLouisSt. Louis, Missouri: Tapping ARPA to expand job training programs for local young peoples ages 14-19. Read the Profile (PDF).

ARPA Resources

locationHow is My Community Using ARPA?

Our friends at the Children’s Funding Project have a great tool to find, influence, and track local funding decisions.

Use the ARPA Tool 


Articles & Tools

Good Read:
Here’s How the American Rescue Plan can help Build a Long-Term Investment in Our Youth
ARPAChildren’s Funding Project takes a look at what we can do to ensure the American Rescue Plan Act realizes its potential to tackle inequity and help young people recover.  Read on.