Opportunity Youth Employment Toolkit

Youth toolkit imageA strong and healthy economy today and in the future depends on the success of young people in the labor market. Today, millions of youth are not working or in school—especially youth from poor communities, youth of color, and youth facing other barriers to employment. Our efforts work to ensure that these opportunity youth can access and succeed in employment and training. Opportunity youth facing the most significant challenges—such as extreme poverty, homelessness, or justice system involvement—often need very intensive assistance in getting and keeping employment, yet are at risk of being left behind even by workforce development programs designed to serve vulnerable young people. This toolkit offers resources that youth employment stakeholders can use to guide programming for opportunity youth facing the most significant barriers to employment. 

Research Briefs & Resources

OYE Youth Brief OYE Case Study daybreak OYE Case Study Larkin Street
Providing True Opportunity for Opportunity Youth: Promising Practices and Principles for Helping Youth Facing Barriers to Employment Opportunity Youth Employment Program Case Study: Daybreak Opportunity Youth Employment Program Case Study: Larkin Street
Learn promising practices and guiding principles for the design, implementation, and improvement of employment services for opportunity youth. Daybreak’s in-house social enterprise helps youth experiencing homelessness practice employment skills in a real-world setting. Larkin Street offers youth experiencing homelessness a range of employment services, including transitional jobs, to “meet youth where they are” in the process of securing safe, stable work.
OYE Case Study Roca  WIOA_Resource 7_WIOA Youth Employment  
Opportunity Youth Employment Program Case Study: Roca The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: A Better Approach to Serving Youth Facing Barriers to Employment  
Roca uses the transitional jobs strategy to coach high-risk, justice-involved young men around positive behavior change, including success in work. Learn practical program design recommendations for enhancing WIOA youth services to better accommodate opportunity youth.  

Additional Resources for Youth Employment Stakeholders

Advocacy & Coalitions
The Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Network is a broad-based coalition committed to connecting opportunity youth to employment and education.   
Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan, national campaign working to expand economic mobility, recently released a call to action for youth employment.  

Program & Practice
The National Center for Trauma Informed Care provides tools for service providers working with people who have experienced violence and trauma.
The Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) shows how motivational interviewing can help people overcome ambivalence towards change.
Career OneStop offers resources to help guide students, parents, and career advisors in their search for employment and educational opportunities.

Policy & Research
Webinar: Helping Opportunity Youth Succeed in Employment: Principles, Practices, and Innovations
MDRC’s “Toward a Better Future” discusses the current state of evidence on youth employment programs and future directions for change.  
CLASP advances best practices and policies related to youth employment and education and has published a report about effective practices for creating a comprehensive youth employment system.
The National Transitional Jobs Network’s comments about Performance Pilot Partnerships for Disconnected Youth discuss promising practices in employment services for opportunity youth.