Opportunity Youth and Workforce Development

Measuring the Effectiveness of Services to Employers

This tool guide provides options to consider in adopting one or more Effectiveness in Serving Employers (ESE) measures across all Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act core programs.

Strategic Employer Engagement: Building Dynamic Relationships with Employers in Teen and Young Adult Employment Programs.

This guide supports workforce practitioners' capacity to build employer relations in order to prepare young adults entering the labor market. 

Employer Engagement by Community-Based Organizations: Meeting the Needs of Job Seekers with Barriers to Success in the Labor Market.

This report identifies the challenges community-based organizations face in connecting youth to the labor market and how to overcome these challenges. 

Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: Nearly 3 in 10 Young People Are ‘Disconnected.’

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 3 in 10 youth were disconnected from school and work, a trend that has slowly improved but largely lags behind their adult counterparts. 

Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan 

The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is used to identify the skills to be focused on in the workplace; to open communication about learning opportunities; to provide a structured approach to skill assessment; and to encourage reflection about short-term and long-term goals. 

Connecting Employers and Opportunity Youth

Are They Really Ready To Work?: Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce.

This study identifies knowledge, skills, and abilities that employers demand from those entering the workforce.

Investing in entry-level talent - Investing in Entry-Level Talent Retention Strategies that Work

This report outlines the benefits of the return on investment in investing in entry-level talent as well as strategies for creating new retention strategies for young adults. 

MAKING Youth Employment WORK: Essential Elements for a Successful Strategy

This report outlines ways in which investments in young adult workers benefit businesses and organizations by addressing their critical needs. 

EmplloyIndy Modern Apprenticeship 

Modern Apprenticeship (MAP) is a two- to three-year program designed to prepare Central Indiana high school students for the workforce with paid, hands-on experience that complements their traditional coursework. 

Racial Equity and Employer Engagement

How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace

This article provides tangible steps organizations can make to promote racial equity in the workplace including addressing implicit bias, structural changes, and root-cause analysis. 

Addressing Race in the Workplace: Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This report outlines the corporate roadmap and case for racial diversity. It also includes tangible steps Fortune 500 companies can make to embed racial equity in their businesses. 

The Pew Research Center: Black unemployment rate is consistently twice that of whites

This article outlines statistics that prove the persistent gaps in black-and-white unemployment as well as the underlying reasons behind this trend. 

Engaging Employers

The Goals and Dimensions of Employer Engagement in Workforce Development Programs

This brief outlines the importance of why employers engage with workforce programs and vice-versa. It also offers effective practices for both sides to have more effective engagement. 

A Resource Guide to Engaging Employers

This guide by Jobs for the Future presents working models of successful employer engagement and lessons for securing and sustaining partnerships with employers.

Building And Strengthening Employer Partnerships For Work-Based Learning

Utilize this report to identify key recommendations to provide high-quality
work-based learning experiences for young adults provided by Jobs-First NYC in partnership with the Mayor's Office of New York.

Justice Impacted Youth

“Ban the Box” Gives Ex-Offenders a Fresh Start in Securing Employment

This report gives a critical analysis of the "fair chance hiring" schemes and how the "ban the box" movement has provided a less discriminatory hiring approach to individuals with a conviction history. 

Bridges to Education and Employment for Justice-Involved Youth Evaluation of the NYC Justice Corps Program.

The report outlines findings from an evaluation of NC Justice Corps, which was a recidivism reduction program for justice-involved young adults that operated from 2008 to 2018.

The Legislative Primer Series for Front-End Justice: Young Adults in the Justice System.

This brief is a part of a series that examines policies at the "front door" of the criminal justice system and provides legislative recommendations for cost-effective policies that protect public safety. 

Ban the Box and Racial Discrimination A Review of the Evidence and Policy Recommendations.

This report provides recommendations to strengthen "ban the box" legislation to prevTent employers from making hiring decisions based on the perception of the likelihood that the applicant has a criminal

Police Contact and the Legal Socialization of Urban Teens.

This report provides an analytical analysis of the correlation between increased police interaction and teenagers and less deference to law and legal socialization.


This article describes policies and updates across the country regarding the movement and provides a timeline for major events and adoptions of the "ban the box" movement on local and federal levels.


Youth Advancement

Social Capital Builders: Helping organizations improve economic mobility and equity through social capital education and development.

This site guides the reader through the definition of social capital, how it is best used within workforce, and provides an oline course for connecting youth to jobs. 

Youth Entrepreneurship Education in America: A Policymaker's Action Guide: 

This guide explains the importance of developing young adult entrepreneurs as well as recommendations for local policymakers to cultivate success for young business leaders in their communities. 

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs: A Practical Guide to Quality Programming

This guide outlines the roadmap to successful youth entrepreneurship including support, financing, and how to get started.

Entrepreneurial Skills Training for Youth

This webcast and resource list are for practitioners who are seeking to cultivate entrepreneurial acumen and skills among the youth they serve. 

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills

"Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities.


Top 5 Skills Most Desired by Employers When Entering the Workforce

As NYEC dives into a grant-funded project on sustainable employer engagement, it has uncovered important learning questions along the way. 

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The Never-Ending Debate – Tackling the Disconnect Between Education and the Workforce

The path to success in the United States is often associated with one’s educational accomplishments. This standard provides a blueprint for young people: graduate high school, earn a bachelor's degree, and achieve high career outcomes.   

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Current Projects - Employer Engagement

LA and NOLA Employer Engagement Strategies
In a new Deep Employer Engagement Project, the National Youth Employment Coalition will seek to define the conditions that help young people make lasting attachments to high-quality jobs and build on this knowledge to create sustainable pathways and systems.
A variety of barriers impede deep, effective, and sustainable employer engagement for community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve young people who are out of school or out of work (Opportunity Youth). Supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the National Youth Employment Coalition is embarking on a project that will uncover the needs of opportunity youth in two communities to gain lasting employment with employers in two industry sectors. CBOs often lack internal capacity to build and maintain long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with employers. Employers can also lack the experience and expertise to access the talent pool that opportunity youth represent. Success is hard to define, and all parties have limited resources to use existing data to transform their offerings.
NYEC will do deep work with a small group of CBOs and employers in New Orleans and Los Angeles, identifying and solving their challenges, and working towards sustainable systems.
In the first phase, NYEC will identify the core practices that make for successful partnerships with employers. Through interviews with key stakeholders, community organizations, and young people, combined with a review of the extensive body of existing research, NYEC will identify how to measure success for young people, CBOs, and employers in two communities. NYEC will disseminate the core practices to the youth-employment field, while seeking to pilot these approaches with employers in two sectors in two communities.
Work on the grant will be led by a team of NYEC staff and partners within the two communities, and designed in close partnership the Hilton Foundation’s Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Division.