A Closer Look: The Generation Work Partnership in Northeast Ohio

Posted October 9, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Picture of job training taking place for young people in Cleveland, Ohio.

As part of its Gen­er­a­tion Work™ ini­tia­tive, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is invest­ing in five part­ner­ships — in Cleve­land, Hart­ford, Indi­anapo­lis, Philadel­phia and Seat­tle — to explore new ways of con­nect­ing young peo­ple with the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence they need to secure jobs that lead to fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages.

The post below kicks off a series that will exam­ine the unique chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties at each site. The series also will explore how each part­ner­ship is work­ing to posi­tion young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly youth and young adults of col­or and those from low-income com­mu­ni­ties — for work­place success.

This entry focus­es on Casey’s part­ner­ship in Cleve­land, which serves 18- to 24-year-olds who are enrolled in fed­er­al work­force devel­op­ment pro­grams and eli­gi­ble to receive pub­lic benefits.

The Chal­lenge in North­east Ohio

In North­east Ohio, tra­di­tion­al edu­ca­tion and train­ing mod­els are fail­ing to equip young peo­ple — espe­cial­ly youth and young adults of col­or — with the skills and cre­den­tials nec­es­sary to land jobs that pay fam­i­ly-sus­tain­ing wages. African Amer­i­cans are less like­ly to find employ­ment and more like­ly to earn less when com­pared to their white coun­ter­parts. At the same time, employ­ers in man­u­fac­tur­ing, health care, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and oth­er high-growth sec­tors are strug­gling to fill job openings.

The Partnership’s Approach

The Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ship in Cleve­land aims to address the bar­ri­ers — both sys­temic and insti­tu­tion­al — that young adults expe­ri­ence on the path to work­place success.

The part­ner­ship man­ages and sup­ports the Young Adult Resource Cen­ter (YRC), which inte­grates train­ing, job-place­ment, men­tor­ing and oth­er ser­vices designed to help young peo­ple con­nect to careers in grow­ing industries.

Key Part­ners

The North­east Ohio part­ner­ship com­pris­es non­prof­it ser­vice providers, work­force devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tions, local gov­ern­ment and fun­ders. The core team has five members:

  • Towards Employ­ment builds employ­ment path­ways to long-term careers while cre­at­ing a tal­ent pipeline for local businesses.
  • Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Unlim­it­ed pro­vides edu­ca­tion­al and skill-devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties to teens and young adults. Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Unlim­it­ed also teams up with Towards Employ­ment to deliv­er ser­vices at a one-stop career cen­ter in the YRC.
  • The Cleve­land-Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Work­force Devel­op­ment Board oper­ates the YRC’s one-stop career cen­ter and also admin­is­ters Work­force Inno­va­tion and Oppor­tu­ni­ty Act funding.
  • Cuya­hoga Coun­ty, through its Human Ser­vices and Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment offices, admin­is­ters both state Tem­po­rary Assis­tance for Needy Fam­i­lies fund­ing and work­force devel­op­ment programming.
  • The Fund for Our Eco­nom­ic Future — a col­lab­o­ra­tive of foun­da­tions, cor­po­ra­tions, uni­ver­si­ties, busi­ness­es and civic agen­cies — focus­es on advanc­ing eco­nom­ic growth in North­east Ohio.

Mea­sur­ing Success

The Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ship in North­east Ohio defines suc­cess as pro­duc­ing a coor­di­nat­ed and acces­si­ble sys­tem that blends pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment with demand-dri­ven strate­gies to build qual­i­ty career path­ways for young peo­ple of all backgrounds.

Read more about the Gen­er­a­tion Work in North­east Ohio

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