Changing Workforce Development Systems to Improve Outcomes for Young People of Color
The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched the Generation Work initiative in 2016 to connect more of America’s young adults—especially those of color from low-income families—with meaningful employment by changing the way public and private systems prepare them for and support them in jobs. Generation Work asked grantees to form partnerships of organizations in workforce development systems (such as training programs, government agencies, funders, employers, and trade unions) to better serve young people ages 18 to 29 years. The first phase of the initiative was implemented in five cities: Cleveland, Hartford, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Seattle. MDRC was selected by the Casey Foundation to study the Generation Work initiative and investigate how it unfolded, uncover challenges, and identify best practices. This Issue Focus explores some of the ways Generation Work partnerships sought to change their local workforce development systems and previews some of the study’s findings.