The asset mapping toolkit and technical assistance process, piloted in 2019 supported cross-system conversations about how to improve approaches and practices of the staff that work directly with young people across the many places where children, youth and young adults spend their time. The WYDPLS used this lens to better assess the degree to which existing practices are consistent with the science of learning and development. Through this process, the WYDPLS decided to prioritize adult practices aimed at rich instructional experiences.
The WYDPLS uses an urban campus model to conduct the training to youth each summer. This means that many downtown businesses and cultural institutions offer space for the summer workshops, enabling youth to enter into spaces they may not otherwise have access to. This is viewed as a strategic way to gain community awareness of youth and for youth to gain awareness of the community.
Through participation in the WYDPLS social and emotional learning has become the driver of partner collaboration and alignment. The three main training partners all focus on aspects of social and emotional development and learning in their trainings. All partners view participation in the WYDPLS as in keeping with their mission of improving a broad set of skills that young people need to be successful in the workforce.