Four New Cities Join Generation Work

Posted April 18, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Young Black man wearing safety glasses works in a woodshop, learning over a saw with a piece of wood in hand.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has select­ed four new cities to par­tic­i­pate in Gen­er­a­tion Work™, which aims to improve employ­ment out­comes for young adults of col­or from low-income families.

The select­ed sites — Birm­ing­ham, Alaba­ma; Chica­go; Louisville, Ken­tucky; and Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware — will devel­op and imple­ment employ­ment prac­tices that pro­mote the hir­ing, reten­tion and advance­ment of young adults of col­or ages 1829. Four oth­er sites — Cleve­land; Indi­anapo­lis; Philadel­phia; and Seat­tle — will con­tin­ue host­ing Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ships, with a focus on sup­port­ing equi­table employ­ment practices.

Each part­ner­ship cho­sen for the next phase of Gen­er­a­tion Work has demon­strat­ed a com­mit­ment to advanc­ing racial equi­ty and bet­ter employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple,” says Alli­son Ger­ber, Casey’s direc­tor of employ­ment, edu­ca­tion and train­ing. We look for­ward to learn­ing from these part­ner­ships as they design and imple­ment strate­gies that pro­mote equi­table and inclu­sive work­places for a new gen­er­a­tion of workers.”

In addi­tion to expand­ing Gen­er­a­tion Work to new cities, the Casey Foun­da­tion has select­ed a new part­ner to help man­age the ini­tia­tive. The Nation­al Fund for Work­force Solu­tions — an orga­ni­za­tion that col­lab­o­rates with work­ers, employ­ers and com­mu­ni­ties to advance a skilled work­force, pro­mote good jobs and invest in equi­table out­comes — will pro­vide guid­ance, tech­ni­cal assis­tance and oper­a­tional support.

We are excit­ed to be a part of the next phase of Gen­er­a­tion Work and help real­ize a more equi­table econ­o­my,” says Aman­da Cage, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Nation­al Fund. The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion was one of the first investors in the Nation­al Fund back in 2007. This ini­tia­tive is an impor­tant con­tin­u­a­tion of our work togeth­er to address sys­temic racial inequities and bar­ri­ers to mean­ing­ful employ­ment for young people.”

What is Gen­er­a­tion Work?

The Casey Foun­da­tion launched Gen­er­a­tion Work in 2016 to con­nect more of America’s young adults — espe­cial­ly young peo­ple of col­or from low-income fam­i­lies — with mean­ing­ful employ­ment. The approach hinged on chang­ing the way pub­lic and pri­vate sys­tems help young peo­ple pre­pare for and suc­ceed in jobs.

Dur­ing the initiative’s first phase, part­ners in five com­mu­ni­ties — Cleve­land, Indi­anapo­lis, Philadel­phia Seat­tle and Hart­ford, Con­necti­cut — sought to align edu­ca­tion, employ­ment and sup­port ser­vices to help young peo­ple devel­op the skills required to suc­ceed in the work­ing world.

Phase Two at a Glance

Part­ners in the sec­ond phase will work with employ­ers over the next three years to improve hir­ing, reten­tion and advance­ment prac­tices in ways that bet­ter sup­port young peo­ple of color.

This work will focus on four key areas:

  1. Racial equi­ty: address­ing sys­temic and struc­tur­al inequities that con­tribute to employ­ment dis­par­i­ties for young peo­ple of color.
  2. Employ­er engage­ment: chang­ing prac­tices to cre­ate more sup­port­ive work­places for young adults of color.
  3. Pos­i­tive youth devel­op­ment: part­ner­ing with employ­ers to improve how they engage with and empow­er young workers.
  4. Learn­ing and evi­dence building: shar­ing lessons and best prac­tices with the broad­er work­force devel­op­ment field.

The Casey Foun­da­tion and the Nation­al Fund for Work­force Solu­tions will sup­port the part­ner­ships and their progress by pro­vid­ing peer learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and tech­ni­cal assistance.

Giv­en the ongo­ing eco­nom­ic impact of the pan­dem­ic and ris­ing aware­ness of racial inequities in the labor mar­ket, the Gen­er­a­tion Work part­ner­ships are well-posi­tioned to test employ­ment prac­tices that ben­e­fit both young work­ers and local employ­ers,” says Ger­ber. Over time we hope this ini­tia­tive will help shape the way work­force devel­op­ment prac­ti­tion­ers work with employ­ers to build more inclu­sive workplaces.”

Learn About Gen­er­a­tion Work and Pos­i­tive Youth Development

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