Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers

by Sheila Maguire

Feb 8, 2016
The new report from JobsFirstNYC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, highlights national examples of effective sectoral employment programs for youth. It lays out strategies for developing and maintaining strong partnerships among industry experts and youth development practitioners, to boost employment rates among young adults and improve business outcomes. Finally, it details lessons learned from JobsFirstNYC's Young Adult Sectoral Employment Project (YASEP), a successful, first-of-its-kind pilot to test whether sector strategies could be specifically effective for young adults who are out of school and unemployed. Drawing on the promising results of several sector-based employment programs for young people throughout the nation, this report explores how:
  1. By expanding and deepening access for young people to sectoral employment initiatives, policymakers and funders can help young people find alternative pathways to jobs, job stability, and advancement;
  2. Community-based and young-adult-serving organizations can play a critical role in connecting young people to employment;
  3. Collaboration across organizations is essential, and financial incentives to support partnerships must be built into future efforts; and
  4. Sectoral strategies can yield even greater gains when they go beyond strategies focused on job placement to partnering with employers to identify ways to improve workers' conditions while also supporting business success.
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