Reconnecting Youth To Education And Employment Through Collective Impact

by | Dec 18, 2014


Aspen InstituteAccording to the Aspen Forum of Community Solutions, there are 6.7 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. These “opportunity youth” have enormous potential to contribute to the national economy. However, the Forum acknowledges lack of youth engagement is complex social challenge that requires community collaboration to address.

In July of 2012, the Aspen Institute launched the Aspen Forum of Community Solutions which recently held its second annual meeting for the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund. Grantees, strategic partners, funders, and guests gathered to share lessons and strategies on how to reconnect opportunity youth to education and employment through collective impact. Steve Patrick, The Forum’s Executive Director, spoke. “We are learning about the emerging strategies that work in reconnecting opportunity youth, and we are also working in partnership with many others across the field to create an adaptable playbook for other communities to look to for planning and inspiration.”

Since 2012, the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund has provided awards to 21 communities in support of reconnecting opportunity youth through community collaboration. Collaborators include K-12 systems, community colleges and other postsecondary providers, municipal and state governments, national and local philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, and private sector leaders. Over the five-year course of the Fund, $13 million in grants will be awarded. The goal of the fund is two-fold:

  • To build strong evidence of success for utilizing a collective impact community collaboration strategy to achieve better outcomes in education and employment for opportunity youth.
  • To advocate for a collective impact and community collaboration strategy as an effective model for community change.

By investing in opportunity youth, the Aspen Forum of Community Solutions recognizes the ripple effect it will have on future generations. Through community collaboration, the Forum hopes to effectively remove any barriers and build education and employment pathways. The Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund is the first funding collaborative being developed and led by The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions.

Considering the development of a strategic plan for your organization? Transform Consulting Group can work with you to identify organizational goals and specific strategies to support the accomplishment of your mission. Contact us today for a free consultation!




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