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Nearly Five Million Youth Are Out of School and Work. Here’s How Three Cities Are Planning to Reengage Them.

July 19, 2017 — CitiesSpeak

Career 360: An Employer-led Approach to Bridging the Opportunity Divide

Co-Authors: Corey Matthews, National Director of LeadersUp and Kristen Lewis, Co-Director, Measure of America

Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” If you currently live in Chicago, you know what it feels like to be living a tale of two cities. On the one hand, the city boasts the third-largest metro economy in the United States. It is a global financial center, has a diverse industry base and numerous institutions of higher learning, and is home to the second-busiest airport in the world. It is also home to some of the most crime-ridden and impoverished neighborhoods in America. The city’s economic, racial, and social diversity is reflected in the marked disparities for opportunity youth—teens and young adults who disconnected from school and work—who live along the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago struggles to address a myriad of persistent challenges in achieving educational, social, economic, and political equity. Through investments in system-level policy change is a story of national importance.  Indeed, Chicago is being closely watched by academic and policymaking organizations that are seeking to identify potential smart solutions to closing the opportunity divide in under-resourced urban communities.

Scholars, activists, influencers, and media personalities attest to the positive power of jobs in disrupting violence in Chicago’s impoverished neighborhoods – a claim that has been substantiated by academic studies. Jobs as a proposed solution makes good sense by all economic, political, and social standards; find ways for companies to hire young adults from Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods and the crime rate will go down. However, there is a disconnect in helping young adults find viable career opportunities with companies, even those that are sorely lacking the talent they need to meet workforce demands. Research suggests that for every 100 disconnected young adults, communities (can) lose up to 1.5 million dollars in social and economic gains. More than 150,000 of those young adults live in Chicagoland. Meanwhile, companies that comprise the transportation, distribution, and logistics sector, such as FedEx, UPS, and C.H. Robinson, are projected to grow by at least 4.8% within the next ten years—and they need employees. Bringing industry and these young adults together has tremendous potential as a win-win-win solution for employers, opportunity youth, and Chicagoland as a whole.

LeadersUp partnered with Measure of America, a research project of the Social Science Research Council, to stimulate a dialogue on how we can support young adults and link them to career opportunities in Chicago’s fractured neighborhoods. Youth disconnection research and data visualizations developed by Measure of America created a framework for the discussion based on the evidence and provided a common language to explore pathways for potential solutions. Together, we planned and facilitated an innovation lab to understand the challenges in connecting young adults from the toughest neighborhoods to industry with a high demand for entry-level to middle-skill talent.

The goal was to identify, quantify, and clarify issues impacting vulnerable young adults—among them youth who are single parents, are homeless, have limited skills, and are involved with the justice system—and work with 35 representatives from community colleges, industry representatives, human resources professionals, and vital community organizations to find concrete, actionable ways to connect youth to secure career pathways.

The overarching barriers included a lack of trust between youth and employers, a perceived lack of transparency around hiring decisions, and perceived system-level biases. A report prepared after the innovation lab highlights our findings and presents recommendations for practitioners, policymakers, system leaders, employers, community colleges, and other stakeholders to repair trust among young adults and communicate the promise and potential of career pathways within the transportation, distribution, and logistics Industry.

LeadersUp Career 360 is a new multi-level and cross-sectoral experience designed to connect industry to young adult talent through career pathway development and career exploration. Click here to see a recap of the Career 360 Innovation Session that lead to the findings in this report.

We hope the report will serve as call to action for other communities to engage diverse stakeholders, including young adults, to develop meaningful solutions to reconnect young people and prevent future disconnection.

 

Websites:

www.measureofamerica.org

www.leadersup.org

 

Redwood Empire Food Bank to offer pantry program at Roseland Elementary

July 17, 2017 — The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

July 12: Bringing Education Home: Affordable Housing and Education Summit

July 12, 2017 — Washington, D.C. Measure of America’s Vikki Lassiter will speak at Bringing Education Home: Affordable Housing and Education Summit, hosted by the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA). The summit brings together experts and senior staff from the nation’s largest public housing authorities with the goal of foster peer-to-peer problem-solving, sharing of best practices, and networking.

Nearly one year on, Brooklyn neighborhood known as K2 zombie zone shows signs of change

June 28, 2017 — PIX 11

Temecula Student To Spend Summer Helping Others Through Prestigious Program

June 27, 2017 — Patch.com

Queen Creek’s Rangel one of five students honored by Bank of America

June 19, 2017 — Queen Creek Independent

Editorial: Leadership in the Springs

June 1, 2017 — The Sonoma Valley Sun

May 25: County of Los Angeles 2017 Leadership Conference

May 25, 2017 — Los Angeles, CA. Measure of America co-director Sarah Burd-Sharps participated in the County of Los Angeles’ 2017 Commissioners’ Leadership Conference, Embracing a Changing Demography as a speaker. Sarah presented the upcoming Portrait of Los Angeles County report to the County’s public policy community. The program booklet and a video of Sarah’s presentation are available online.

A Huge Dallas Fair Offers Jobs To Unemployed Youth — And A Chance Out Of Poverty

May 23, 2017 — KERA News