A new and exciting strain of work exists around addressing the youth employment gap through both the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the work of business-facing youth employment intermediaries, aligning business and youth needs.
EdSystems held a seat on the Disadvantaged Youth Taskforce for the IL Workforce Investment Board (IWIB), and wrote the Disadvantaged Youth Task Force report for the State’s WIOA initiative. In Summer 2016, EdSystems was asked to staff the Standing Youth Committee for the IWIB, which was created as a direct outcome of the Disadvantaged Youth Task Force Report. A core project of the Standing Youth Committee has been to craft the Notice of Funding Opportunity for WIOA Youth Career Pathways. With an emphasis on the needs of young people who are not in school and not working, coined Opportunity Youth. This funding opportunity is intended to support effective career pathway practices distilled by the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board’s Youth Task Force. These practices will have a positive impact on the careers of Illinois’ youth while creating a framework for long term, sustainable capacity building in delivery of those practices throughout the state.
In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, we have also participated in Roundtable discussions on WIOA implementation and challenges with state-level workforce development officials from around the U.S. We have also consulted for the Foundation on a project that seeks to distill critical design principles of business-facing intermediary organizations in order to facilitate state and local Chamber and business engagement with youth.