Our partnership with communities will focus on those young adults ages 16-24 who are not currently connected to any educational institution or to employment. As a result, they are sometimes referred to as disconnected or opportunity youth. We prefer the term “opportunity.” It captures our sense of optimism.
Many leaders across the state have toiled for years to improve educational and employment outcomes for opportunity youth. As a result, from 2009 to 2019, the rate of opportunity youth declined from 15 to 11 percent. However, communities and statewide organizations have seen as much as a decade’s worth of progress erased by the impacts of Covid-19. We are humbled to partner with existing champions of opportunity youth to strengthen the network of urban, rural, and tribal community collaboratives and increase the pathways to employment.