Youth Employment Programs

Compared with youth in higher income households, youth from lower income households more often face barriers to career training, and more often have limited resources and access to financial education and related services. Therefore, these youth may be less able to achieve financial well-being.

Youth employment programs offer opportunities to help young people, especially disadvantaged youth, gain the financial knowledge, skills, and access to resources necessary to effectively manage finances through adulthood.

Youth employment programs address a broad range of vocational skills. They help youth gain the abilities and training necessary to be successful in transitioning to adulthood and careers.1

In recognition of this, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families partnered to produce Building Financial Capability in Youth Employment Programs: Insights From a Roundtable With Practitioners (PDF, 34 pages).

A roundtable discussion, led by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, focused on promising programs for youth to help them build financial capability. The roundtable found three components that are crucial to promoting financial capability:

  1. integrating financial education into youth employment programs,
  2. establishing partnerships with employers, and
  3. identifying effective strategies to collaborate with financial institutions.

The final report (PDF, 34 pages) discusses four key lessons that came out of the roundtable:

  • Lesson 1: Partnerships with the private sector, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, financial institutions, and youth are necessary for successful program implementation.
  • Lesson 2: Financial education should be tailored to the needs of youth, employers, and financial education providers.
  • Lesson 3: Youth should select financial products after carefullly weighing the costs and risks of various options.
  • Lesson 4: Organizations should develop explicit strategies for engaging youth in the short and long term. Efforts to engage youth are important during and after a youth employment program.2

Resources

Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services
The interactive tools in this guide walk organizations through the process of developing an integration plan, beginning with developing a deeper understanding of which financial capability services can help improve various financial situations.

Make a Budget
This site from the FDIC provides a worksheet for youth to use to see how much money they spend a month and to monitor their financial management progress over the length of a year.

My Next Move
This step-by-step simulation provides users with tools to learn about career options.

NEW! Resource Guide for Youth Employment Programs: Incorporating Financial Capability and Partnering with Financial Institutions (PDF, 7 pages)
This resource guide from the FLEC is for youth employment programs that are interested in enhancing financial capability and building partnerships with financial institutions. It maps out how and why such partnerships can help young people achieve greater financial well-being and employment success.

Tips for Young Adults
This website from the FDIC offers young adults resources and a quiz to test their knowledge on savings.

Youth Financial Education Curriculum Review Tool
This tool was designed to help teachers and financial education practitioners review and compare financial education curricula across four key dimensions: curriculum content, curriculum utility, curriculum quality, and curriculum efficacy.

References

1 U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.
2 Consumer Protection Financial Bureau & U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 2014

Other Resources on this Topic

Youth Voices

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).