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Generation Work: Equipping young people with in-demand employment skills and credentials

A decade after the Great Recession, millions of job seekers in their late teens and twenties – especially young people of color and youth from low-income families – are still struggling to land and keep meaningful work, even as the economy improves. Traditional education and training models are failing to equip them with the skills and credentials necessary to secure good jobs that put them on a path to earning family-sustaining wages. The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched Generation Work in 2016 to explore new ways of connecting these young people with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in the job market. This multiyear, multicity initiative weaves together best practices from the adult education and training field – in particular, a focus on demand-driven workforce development strategies – with positive youth development practices, such as mentoring and work-based learning, to better prepare young people ages 18-29 for work. The Foundation is investing in local partnerships in five cities – Cleveland, Hartford, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle – as they plan, convene, build evidence and conduct the advocacy work needed to connect and scale promising practices across different education, training and human service platforms.