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.

The Issue

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.

United Way's Role

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.

The Results

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.