Young Adult Initiatives

Opportunities for workforce success

The narrative surrounding young adult employment is complicated, as there are two unique groups on which to focus: those who are engaged with school, and those who are not. This includes high school, post-secondary, certificate programs, or other educational experiences that further one’s employability. While considering that each of these groups requires its own approach to ensure a pathway to success, both groups can benefit from EmployIndy’s E^7 mindset:

  • Exposure
  • Exploration
  • Engagement
  • Empowerment
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Employment

Further, young people need to have the support to identify how their interests and talents fit into industries and work opportunities that are in demand around Indianapolis. This includes working with Indianapolis Public Schools to develop an effective model for serving as a youth employment liaison. Programmatically, through continued efforts in programs like Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), YouthBuild Indy, TeenWorks Indy, Project Indy, and coordinated efforts with community-based organizations, young adults facing the greatest barriers can see a clear trajectory for their own prosperity.

“The absolute number of employed teens dropped by 36 percent between 2000 and 2014, from 6.9 million to 4.4 million, even as the total number of 16- to 19-year-olds increased by 3 percent.”

Research clearly shows a positive correlation between youth work experience and future success within the labor market. Creating an environment where young people are learning the value and soft skills associated with “work” is key to establishing a competent workforce for the future.

Re-engaging young adults who are disconnected

Among the most difficult tasks for workforce development boards across the country is finding ways to connect to young adults who have disengaged from school in some way. Without the obvious conduit of communication that school provides, these residents easily miss valuable information and opportunities for self-improvement. Subsequently, they also often face more obstacles than their peers which pushes them further from employment and the labor force. Without significant intervention, many give up hope and even turn to crime to make ends meet.

Touching this fragile demographic requires reaching deep into targeted neighborhoods, putting “boots on the ground,” and partnering with existing local support service providers. Similar efforts have found success in other major metropolitan areas, from which EmployIndy seeks to learn and develop. Through focused collaboration, a best practice program design can be developed specific to re-engaging and supporting disconnected young adults, and then replicated throughout Indy’s Target Impact Areas.

“Working can build self-efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to accomplish a task or succeed in difficult situations – that extends past work and into the community and family life.”

Partner with EmployIndy to reach young adults

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