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Connecting young adults to skills and jobs: Lessons from the National Fund’s sectoral strategies

Consistent with its commitment to creating opportunity and improving local and regional economies, the National Fund promotes strategies that use sector or industry partnerships to support young adults in developing in-demand skills, preparing for a successful career, and securing a job. Stubbornly high young adult unemployment rates persist in the wake of the Great Recession, and, if unaddressed, could have long-lasting negative consequences not only for young workers, but also for the communities where they live. In response, the National Fund and its partners are working to determine how its sectoral models might be adapted and utilized to address young adults’ employment challenges. This report documents emerging practices from the National Fund’s young adult work to date, and also provides a context for understanding the status of young adult sectoral work nationally. Specifically, the report: Describes the short history of young adult sectoral work; Highlights aspects of the National Fund’s YA Initiative; Lifts up lessons from the communities involved in the YA Initiative; Provides recommendations to advance this work.