This program, an expansion of United Way’s Opportunity Youth work, is a comprehensive workforce development initiative that helps youth ages 15-24 start on a path to a sustainable career.
Unemployed youth are at higher risk for unstable housing, substance abuse, crime and unplanned pregnancies. Additionally, without a robust talent pipeline, businesses will continue to struggle with filling necessary positions which impacts productivity now and into the future.
In 2013, United Way led the effort to build a community collaboration focused on improving outcomes for Opportunity Youth. Since that time, United Way, its community partners and youth advocates have added strategies targeted to youth who are most at-risk.
Over the three years, YouthWorks has served more than 2,900 disconnected youth. Of those, 902 (31%) became engaged in an educational program, 1,945 (67%) participated in employment internships, 363 (21%) obtained a credential of value and 495 (17%) are employed.