Public work projects cultivate youth in workforce development programs
Authors AffiliationsA. Brosnahan is 4–H Youth Development Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Joaquin County.
Hilgardia 62(1):40-46. DOI:10.3733/ca.v062n01p40. January 2008.
Using comparative case studies, we evaluated youth workforce development programs in California that are funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and implemented by local Youth Councils and Workforce Investment Boards. First, we identified a promising practice: skill- and pride-generating public work projects. Next, we identified three characteristics of these successful youth public work initiatives: (1) combining employment preparation with social services and personal support; (2) grouping youth in cohorts that work and learn together; and (3) providing caring adult supervision that combines discipline and support. Proactive investments in high-quality programs with these characteristics can reduce the growing number of out-of-school, out-of-work youth in California, save future public costs for the criminal justice and social service systems, and provide youth with meaningful employment opportunities.
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