NYEC members and friends,
We hope that you are finding peace and hope as best as you can during these times. We wanted to provide another update on how NYEC is responding to our three national crises.
COVID-19 Workshop Series
Beginning in March we reorganized our monthly policy- and practice-focused meeting for members around responding to COVID-19. We have organized nine virtual workshops since then, sharing insights and best practices of adapting during the COVID-19 epidemic. The workshops are designed to be informal learning opportunities to share comments, ask questions and connect with others doing similar work. A sample of some of the workshops are below:
We will be announcing more COVID-response workshops soon, including ones debriefing on summer youth employment programs. If you want to propose or lead a workshop, contact Rashaun.bennett@nyec.org.
All Youth Connecting Virtual Convening
The pandemic made it impossible to hold our All Youth Connecting Forum in Nashville as we hoped. But we kicked off a virtual convening on June 25th, which lasted four days, welcomed almost 400 attendees and featured over 30 sessions.
For those who attended the convening, you all will have access to Whova and the materials through the app through December 24th, 2020. You can view session recordings, follow up with the people you met or those you couldn’t connect with during the event through the in-app messages, e-business card requests, and Bulletin Board posts until then.
We are beginning planning for NYEC’s Annual Forum, which will take place in December and will be entirely or primarily virtual. If you’d like to join the planning group for the convening, contact Rashaun.bennett@nyec.org. We hope to return to in-person convenings next year, with a July 20-22, 2021, All Youth Connecting Forum in Nashville.
Federal Advocacy
NYEC is a leader in several federal advocacy campaigns including the Reconnecting Youth Campaign, Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce and the National Trauma Campaign, each of which is working to shape federal COVID legislation in different ways.
Early in the pandemic, NYEC led the creation of a set of joint recommendations for Congress to support Opportunity Youth during the pandemic and economic downturn. Several of the recommendations have gained traction including scaling up existing programs, expanding subsidized jobs and involving youth in contract tracing efforts.
We continue to meet with offices interested in our proposals, though the window is closing for large investments in the current COVID legislation. So far, the CARES Act passed in March 2020 included $345 million for the Employment and Training Administration. The Democratic-led HEALS Act provides nearly $1 billion and the Republican-led HEREOS Act provides $3.1 billion for workforce training and development. We also are working on efforts with organizations like CLASP and Opportunity Youth United to prepare for a new Congress and potential new presidential administration.
Building the Field
The COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the largest modern-day protests of racism in the United States. Rashaun wrote a piece describing how our field can reckon with the calls for police reform and defunding and workforce development throughout the country. Furthermore, NYEC was approached by Grant Loveless, a young leader and digital storyteller, to give insight into how best to maximize advocacy, change and justice during these times.
The pandemic has enabled new innovations and shifts to occur in NYEC member organizations. Summer jobs and experiences have gone virtually with new platforms, goals and partnerships. Thomas Showalter wrote an op-ed piece on what post-pandemic jobs will look like and what policies are needed to recreate a more equitable future for youth. Understanding and documenting the power of flexibility and innovations occurring throughout the country will help strengthen the field after the pandemic subsides.
To expand our ability to respond to member needs and lift up work underway, we have hired Shanice Turner as NYEC’s first young-adult consultant. A Year Up graduate and founder of Opportunity Youth United, Shanice is already changing how we interact with our members, as well as expanding our ability to co-design our offerings with young people.
How You Can Help NYEC
Don’t forget to pay your member dues, and please refer your colleagues at other organizations to join NYEC. We don’t have any COVID-specific grant funding, so your donations will also ensure we are able to continue offering unique programming and supports to the field.
In solidarity,
Thomas and Rashaun

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