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Opportunity Youth Playbook Companion: Organizations and Resources for Ensuring Disconnected Young Men of Color Successfully Enter the Workforce

Below are resources and organizations related to this section of the Opportunity Youth Playbook.

Tools and Resources

·       Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Initiative (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       Ban the Box Philanthropy Challenge (Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color)

·       Become a YearUp Corporate Partner (Year Up)

·       Civic Justice Corps Toolkit (The Corps Network)

·       Connecting Youth and Business: A Toolkit for Employers  (Opportunity Nation)

·       Customer Service Excellence Training with Youth Build USA (Starbucks Foundation and YouthBuild)

·       Education-Career Pathway System - a model on meeting opportunity youth where they are (Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative)

·       Fact Sheet: During National Reentry Week, Reducing Barriers to Reentry and Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Individual (White House)

·       Fact Sheet: Launches the Fair Chance Business Pledge (White House)

·       Gap Inc. Success Story (Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead)

·       Initiatives and Services to Advance Careers and Economic Growth (Jobs for the Future)

·       Making Youth Employment Work: Essential Elements for a Successful Strategy (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

·       Multimedia Career Pathways Explained (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       Opportunity Youth Employment Toolkit (Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity)

·       Opportunity Youth Index Briefing Book (Opportunity Nation)

·       Pathways for Youth Employment: Federal Resources for Employers (U.S. Department of Labor)

·       Playbook for Corporations and Businesses (My Brother’s Keeper Alliance)

·       resources and tools for small business leaders (Commitment to Opportunity Youth)

·       resources for young people interested in starting their own business (Commitment to Opportunity Youth)

·       ServiceWorks (Corporation for National and Community Service)

·       SK Food Group Demonstration Project (Leaders Up)

·       Small Business Owners' Commitment to Opportunity Youth Pledge (Commitment to Opportunity Youth)

·       Snapshot: Youth Corps and Workforce Partnerships (The Corps Network)

·       State Blueprint (Workforce Data Quality Campaign)

·       Summer Opportunity AmeriCorps (Corporation for National and Community Service)

·       The B.MORE Initiative, Black Men & Youth Overcoming & Realizing Employment Resources (Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity)

·       The Federal Resources Playbook for Registered Apprenticeships (U.S. Department of Labor)

·       We Got This: A Call to For Youth Employment:  train, hire, mentor, graduate and revive (Opportunity Nation)

·       WIOA Game Plan (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       WIOA Implementation and Planning Toolkit (Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity)

·       Year Up program locations (Year Up)

·       Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps (Corporation for National and Community Service)

·       YouthBuild program locations (YouthBuild)

Reports & Research

·       Building a Comprehensive Youth employment Delivery Systems: Examples of Effective Practice (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       Civic Justice Corps: Transforming Reentry Through Service (The Corps Network)

·       Connecting Young Adults to Employment: Results from a National Survey of Service Providers (Workforce Strategies at the Aspen Institute)

·       Creating Pathways to Employment: The Role of Youth/Industry Partnerships in Preparing Low-Income Youth and Young Adults for Careers in High-Demand Industries (Jobs for the Future)

·       Creating Pathways to Employment: The Role of Youth/Industry Partnerships In Preparing Low-Income Youth and Young Adults for Careers in High-Demand Industries (Jobs for the Future)

·       Curated list of research on Boys and Young Men of Color (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       How Agency and Organization Leaders Can Use the Alliance Framework (Center for Law and Social Policy)

·       Key “Soft Skills” that Foster Youth Workforce Success: Toward a Consensus across Fields (Child Trends)

·       MDRC Research on Career Pathways (MDRC)

·       Opening the Door: How Community Organizations Address the Youth Unemployment Crisis (Jobs for the Future)

·       Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers (JobsFirstNYC)

·       Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century (Students at the Center Hub)

·       Providing True Opportunity for Opportunity Youth: Promising Practices and Principles for Helping Youth Facing Barriers to Employment (Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity)

·       Two Year Report (Leaders Up)

·       Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections To Opportunity (Annie E. Casey Foundation)

National Organizations, Networks and Initiatives

·       The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

·       The Commitment to Opportunity Youth, a joint effort by U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority, is committed to identifying meaningful career and educational opportunities for our nation’s opportunity youth while at the same time meeting the human capital needs of small businesses. U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority recognize that more can be done to meet the challenges of youth unemployment while also meeting the needs of small businesses. There is a unique opportunity to match young people ready and willing to work with employers who need their help to build and secure their business future.

·       The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that helps more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Working hand in hand with local partners, CNCS tap the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the American people to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.

·       The Corporation for a Skilled Workforce is a national nonprofit that partners with government, business, education, and community leaders to connect workers with education and good jobs, increase the competitiveness of companies, and build sustainable communities.


·       The Corps Network is made up of comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment.

·       The Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color is a national philanthropic network of national, regional and community foundations driven by a bold vision that all boys and men of color will enjoy full inclusion in all the opportunities America has to offer.

·       Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead program gives young people a chance to prepare for and experience their first jobs. It offers Gap Inc. employees meaningful development opportunities and deeper connections with co-workers, while building their company loyalty.

·       The Grads of Life Campaign is working to bring together employers and talented opportunity youth by changing the perceptions employers have of young people with atypical resumes. Grads of Life helps employers nationwide fulfill their talent needs and build employment pathways for young adults ages 16-24 who have not yet obtained a college credential.

·       Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative  is a collective impact effort, chaired by the Mayor of Hartford Mayor and made up of leaders across education, youth development and workforce development to support Opportunity Youth through results-based accountability.

·       Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity is dedicated to ending chronic unemployment and poverty. We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to succeed in work and support themselves and their families. Through our field building, we provide support and guidance that fosters more effective and sustainable employment efforts. Our policy and advocacy work advances solutions to the systemic issues that drive chronic unemployment.

·       JobsFirstNYC is a nonprofit intermediary organization and a champion for the workforce needs of out-of-school, out-of-work young adults in New York City. JobsFirstNYC mission is to improve the system to accelerate the connection of young adults with the economic life of New York City.

·       Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit that works to ensure educational and economic opportunity for all. JFF develops innovative career pathways, educational resources, and public policies that increase college readiness and career success, and build a more highly skilled workforce.

·       Leaders Up was established in 2013 by the Starbucks Corporation and launched by some of its largest U.S. suppliers, the mission of LeadersUp is to bridge the divide between the untapped potential of young people and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent. Our innovation is a supply-chain engagement model that leverages and works with companies within robust supply-chains across the United States to hire and retain Opportunity Youth as part of their workforce.

  • Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative, led by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, focuses on youth and young adults ages 14–25, particularly those who have been involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, or who are homeless. It is a partnership with three national organizations: Jobs for America’s Graduates, Jobs for the Future and MDRC, and is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund.

·       My Brother’s Keeper Alliance aims to eliminate the gaps in opportunity and achievement for boys and young men of color– making the American dream available to all. MBKA believes this will require strategic, evidence-based interventions from community, private, public, and social enterprise partners that holistically tackle these gaps from cradle to college and career.

·       MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor. MDRC is best known for mounting large-scale demonstrations and evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people.

·       National Network of Business and Industry Associations works to bridge the "skills gap" by better connecting the worlds of learning and work. National Network has brought together a cross-section of business and industry groups to help communicate to learning institutions the skills employers are looking for, as well as to help industries and employers adjust their hiring and business practices to focus on the competencies and skills workers have and are developing in today’s evolving economy.

·       National Collaborative Workforce and Disability for Youth assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth. The NCWD/Youth, created in 2001, is composed of partners with expertise in education, youth development, disability, employment, workforce development and family issues.

·       Opportunity Nation is a bipartisan, national campaign comprised of more than 350 cross-sector organizations working together to expand economic mobility and close the opportunity gap in America.

·       Opportunity Works, an initiative of Jobs for the Future, in partnership with the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF), is building the evidence base of what works to improve the credential attainment and employment prospects of low-income opportunity youth—16 to 24 year olds, with or without high school diplomas, who are insufficiently attached to education and the workforce. Opportunity Works places a special emphasis on strategies for engaging boys and men of color, and special attention will be paid to young people who are homeless, and in or transitioning from the foster care and/or juvenile justice system.

·       Starbucks Foundation is a charitable organization that receives funding from Starbucks Corporation and private donations. The Starbucks Foundation believes in providing young people, ages 15 to 24 years old, with pathways to opportunity by investing in programs that equip young people with the skills required for the changing global economy.

·       Transportation Equity Caucus, co-chaired by PolicyLink and the Leadership Conference, is a diverse coalition of organizations promoting policies that ensure access, mobility, and opportunity for all.

·       Urban Alliance is a yearlong employment program for under-resourced high school seniors in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Chicago, IL. Our goal is to give youth access to professional growth and experiences. The program prepares students for a life of work and self-sufficiency through paid internships, formal training, and mentorship.

·       The U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

·       Workforce Data Quality Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that advocates for inclusive, aligned and market-relevant data systems used for advancing the nation's skilled workforce and helping U.S. industries compete in a changing economy. WDQC was developed in 2012 by convening stakeholders from across the education and workforce development spectrum, along with researchers and technical data experts from the state and federal levels.

·       Year Up empowers low-income young adults to go from poverty to professional careers in year. Young adults spend 6 months in the classroom learning the skill employers are looking for and then spend 6 months interning with partner companies. 

·       YouthBuild programs in the United States and across the globe, work with low-income young people who learn construction skills through building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods and other community assets such as schools, playgrounds, and community centers. YouthBuild programs provide pathways to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, family, and community.

·       The Youth Opportunity Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, provides grants to nonprofits working in innovative ways to place low-income young adults on a path towards college and career success in 10 cities across the United States: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

·       100,000 Opportunities Initiative is a coalition of leading U.S.-based companies committed to training and hiring 100,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and not working by 2018.