NYEC November Newsletter

NYEC Prepares to Launch Chicago Youth Mental Health Fair and Forum

On December 3, 2022, the inaugural cohort of six young adults will launch their city-wide event named, “Chicago’s Youth Mental Health Fair and Forum.” The event seeks to raise awareness around mental health and connect youth in Chicago to mental health resources. The project was selected from a competitive summer six-week career readiness program in which the young adults wanted to create a realistic solution to further the conversation around the importance of youth mental health and provide resources to historically disenfranchised communities. The event will include keynote speakers, breakout sessions, food, and resources from community organizations. If you are a young adult in the Chicago area register and learn more here!

Commenting on Proposed Federal Rules and Regulations: Another Avenue for Systems Change

Throughout September and October, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) sought comments from the public on a proposed Environmental Justice Scorecard. The scorecard is meant to measure progress related to President Biden’s Justice40 initiative (J40), which seeks to direct 40 percent of the benefits of hundreds of federal programs to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Workforce development and “affordable and sustainable housing” in disadvantaged communities are two areas that the initiative seeks to impact.  Commenting on a federal agency’s ideas for what to include in an internal scorecard may sound deep in the weeds – and it is. But the federal government is like other sectors: what gets measured, matters. Over 300 different federal programs, including all major WIOA programs and those at agencies ranging from Agriculture to Veterans Affairs, have been identified as covered under J40. If all of these programs are held to the same measures, programs at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior (for example) will have to measure whether their investments are improving access to workforce development and housing for the first time ever. NYEC offered suggestions on the scorecard (see them here). We suggested that federal agencies share power with young people, and measure the depth of their engagement with young people, as part of J40. We recommended using the youth disconnection rate as a way to measure how disadvantaged communities are doing. Finally, we called for all covered programs to be held to the same measures, so all programs must pay attention to whether they are moving the ball on employment and housing. New Door Ventures, an NYEC member, also offered comments, as did ally Emerald Cities Collaborative. Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources Raul Grijalva offered comments echoing some of our ideas.

NYEC Job Opportunities:

Data Experts and Policy Wonks: Join NYEC’s Team! NYEC is hiring for a Data Specialist and a Policy Manager. We’re seeking someone who is a passionate evangelist for applying data and research to the work of improving outcomes for Opportunity Youth – and someone who will be an effective advocate to policymakers at all levels of government. The data position is remote, with an option for in-person work. The Policy Manager must be available for regular meetings in the Washington, DC, area. We seek to fill these positions within the next month, so please share widely in your networks. Contact NYEC senior advisor Thomas Showalter at thomas.showalter@nyec.org with questions about either of these positions.

Employer Engagement Project: 

NYEC hosted an Employer Engagement Workshop with over 300 sign ups! In the workshop we shared our literature review key findings and proposed best practices for the field with feedback from workshop attendees. We’re currently holding focus groups in New Orleans and LA for Employers, Service Providers and Youth. If you fall into any of those categories, please email emily.ingram@nyec.org. We look forward to working with the two cities in identifying best practices in employer engagement that works for them and could be applied nation wide.

Youth Action Hour

NYEC is looking for young leaders, entrepreneurs, and advocates for our upcoming Youth Action Hour! The Youth Action Hour is a mini-grant program for upcoming young people (ages 16-24) who are looking for an opportunity to start, grow, or sustain a business, service, or project that uplifts and improves their community. The selected winners will be awarded $500 and will virtually present their work at our annual Forum! Not only will they receive valuable feedback, potential partnerships, and insight from leaders in the field, but they also have the chance to win an additional $500 for their project. Applications are due December 2nd!: