Examines how some local areas used their Recovery Act funds to serve youth beyond the 2009 summer months.
“Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), states received $1.2 billion in funding for Workforce Investment Act Youth Program activities to provide employment and training activities targeted to disadvantaged youth. In addition to supporting large-scale youth employment activities in the summers of 2009 and 2010, the Recovery Act also gave states the option to continue to fund work experience opportunities for out-of-school youth ages 18 to 24 for an additional six months, spanning a "post-summer" time frame of October 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010.“This study examines how some local areas used their Recovery Act funds to serve youth beyond the 2009 summer months. Using qualitative data collected through visits to eight local sites in seven states, this report describes key features of the sites' post-summer youth employment initiative, and lessons that may help inform future efforts to provide work experience and other activities to older, out-of-school youth” (ETA Abstract). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• "Real-life work experience was the cornerstone of the Post-SYEI. The sites focused on connecting youth to meaningful work experiences that aligned closely with their interests and goals, rather than on providing them with training or academic enrichment activities" (p.55). • "Stand-alone paid work experience programs are an effective way to engage disconnected youth" (p.55). • "The longer-than-typical “summer job” work experience was viewed as the key benefit of the Post-SYEI by youth, employers, and workforce administrative and frontline staff" (p.55). • The Post-SYEI reinforced the importance of providing older youth with work experiences as part of a larger targeted career ladder (rather than “work for work’s sake”) in health care or other high-growth or high-demand industries" (p.56). • "Sites capitalized on their SYEI and Post-SYEI experiences to forge and strengthen partnerships with different service providers and employers within their communities" (p.56). • "Youth demand for the SYEI and Post-SYEI frequently exceeded sites’ enrollment capacity" (p.56). • "Matching worksites with participants’ goals and interests, coupled with frequent inperson monitoring visits by program staff to worksites, maximized the potential for a successful work experience" (p.56). • The Post-SYEI model can serve as a useful “bridge” between the youth and permanent employment or transitions into other workforce preparation activities" (p.56). (Abstractor: Author)