How to Design Workforce Strategies for Young People?

October 30, 2019

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Title: A Toolkit to Engage Employers and Opportunity Youth on the Future of Work

Source: The Aspen Institute

Author: Amy Blair, Ranita Jain and Jamie McAuliffe

The Aspen Institute has released a toolkit for community leaders to use to diagnose changes in the nature and structure of work in their local economies. The kit encourages them to think about the implications that such changes might bring for opportunity youth. According to the authors, opportunity youth denotes young people who are neither in school nor working and who may experience important changes in the economy in the upcoming years.

The toolkit takes a practical approach and consists of the following:

  • A framework to guide conversations between employers and young adults about different changes in local employment (e.g., changes in employment demand, skills and credentials, market forces, technology, etc.).
  • Background information on specific occupations and local labor markets to inform these conversations.
  • Lessons learned from three organizations in Denver, New York, and Seattle that pilot-tested the toolkit.

Results from the pilots indicate that the framework contributes to the design and implementation of workforce strategies targeting young adults. Additional findings revealed that the framework also helps participants learn about specific credentials that are valued by employers. Finally, pilot participants noted the framework’s potential to guide conversations about hiring and retention practices.

To learn more about the toolkit as well as other findings from the pilot testing, click here.

—Maria Claudia Soler

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