Workforce Development TAG Resources

Incorporate Positive Youth Development into Professional Development Training

  • Tools for Promoting Positive Youth Development 
    These online resources are designed to help state and local organizations develop and sustain positive youth development programs in their communities. Resources include videos, toolkits, research summaries, and other informational publications. (Child Welfare Information Gateway) 
  • Manual: Positive Youth Development 101
    This curriculum offers an orientation to the youth development approach for professionals new to the field of youth work, including youth workers, supervisors and administrators, funders, and community volunteers. The 10-hour curriculum is structured in five distinct sections, each of which may be presented as a stand-alone workshop. (Assets for Coming Together (ACT) for Youth) 
  • Putting Positive Youth Development into Practice - PDF
    This resource provides an overview of the positive youth development approach, as well as practical advice for launching and running programs that support the positive development of young people. It discusses key characteristics of programs that promote positive youth development and gives examples of promising practices. (HHS, Family and Youth Service Bureau)

Identify Services to Meet the Unique Needs of Opportunity Youth

  • Back on Track: Designing for Success, Lessons Learned in Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund Sites - PDF
    This paper highlights key strategies used by communities that have designed and implemented pathways to re-engage disconnected youth to postsecondary and career opportunities. The paper highlights best practice examples that can enhance the field’s knowledge base and inform efforts of practitioners and other stakeholders involved in advancing positive outcomes for opportunity youth. (Jobs for the Future) 
  • The Passport to Career Success
    Stakeholders may be interested in this example from The Next Generation Zone, in Spokane, Washington, a one-stop location for education, career skills training, and community and employment resources. The Passport to Career Success is a free multi-media career platform for use by young adults, teachers, and counselors. (Next Generation Zone) 
  • Youth Employment Resources
    This federal website offers up-to-date information, tools, and resources of interest to youth-serving organizations and employers who are engaged in supporting young people’s success in the workplace. (Youth.gov, Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs) 
  • Resources for Youth with Disabilities
    This online resource center offers an array of information, including tip sheets, guides, and other publications to support successful transitions to adulthood for youth with disabilities. For example, the publication By Youth for Youth: Employment discusses key issues ranging from building a resume to understanding one’s rights. (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability) 

Work with Vocational Rehabilitation Partners

  • Disability Employment Policy Resources: Youth in Transition
    This website highlights a range of resources to help youth-serving professionals successfully connect young people to programs, services, activities, and supports that help them gain access to chosen post-school options.  Topics include mental and physical health, transportation, tutoring, financial planning and management, and post-secondary supportive services. (U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy) 
  • Fact Sheet:  What to Know about Work-based Learning Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities - PDF
    This fact sheet was created by the Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) workgroup, comprised of several federal agencies involved in promoting inclusive service delivery for transitioning youth with disabilities from school into postsecondary education, the workforce, and independent living. (U.S. Department of Education)  

Facilitate Mentoring Opportunities

Identify and Improve Transportation Options

  • One-stop Centers and Employment Transportation
    This report assesses the importance of transportation as a key component of ensuring an individual’s access to employment training and jobs. It also provides an overview of best practices and related efforts underway to enhance transportation services within the One-stop system, a network of workforce development and employment services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. (Community Transportation Association of America) 
  • Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program Project Selections
    See this website for a searchable table of innovative federally-funded transportation programs that includes brief descriptions and locations of the programs. (U.S. Department of Transportation) 

Promote Financial Literacy for Youth and Their Families

Engage Employers in the Community

  • A Resource Guide to Engaging Employers - PDF
    This resource guide presents working models of successful employer engagement and lessons for securing and sustaining partnerships with employers. It is designed to help education and training providers build strategic, long-term, and intensive partnerships with employers. (Jobs for the Future) 
  • Creating a Youth-Friendly Workplace: Tips for Employers - PDF
    This guide offers quick tips to help employers create an “youth-friendly workplace” in support of producing positive results for both employers and youth workers. It incorporates youth-development principles to help young people make a successful transition to adulthood and economic independence. (Sacramento Works for Youth) 
  • The Goals and Dimensions of Employer Engagement in Workforce Development Programs - PDF
    This issue brief offers a simple framework for workforce programs seeking to engage employers, with a focus on describing why employers engage with workforce programs. It specifies how employers are involved with workforce programs and describes the challenges for both sides. (Urban Institute) 
  • Hallmarks of Effective Youth Employment Programs from Research and Programs Across the United States: Implications for Detroit
    The publication outlines research, program models, organizational components, and promising practices of summer jobs programs in New York City, Boston, Hartford, Chicago, and Philadelphia and demonstrates the role that a summer jobs program can play in a young person’s life. This document was developed to assist the city of Detroit in designing its summer youth employment program. (Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation)

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Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).