Four New Cities Join Generation Work
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 18–29. 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:
- Racial equity: addressing systemic and structural inequities that contribute to employment disparities for young people of color.
- Employer engagement: changing practices to create more supportive workplaces for young adults of color.
- Positive youth development: partnering with employers to improve how they engage with and empower young workers.
- 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.”