Describes the context in which programs for the INA Summer Youth Employment Initiative were created and provides a detailed discussion of how grantees used their Recovery Act funds to implement programs to serve youth in their communities.

"This report describes the context in which programs for the INA Summer Youth Employment Initiative were created and provides a detailed discussion of how grantees used their Recovery Act funds to implement programs to serve youth in their communities. The analysis is based on INA grantees’ performance measure data and qualitative data collected during site visits to a purposive sample of five diverse grantees in five states. This report also highlights key findings and innovations grantees made to better serve youth" (ETA Abstract). (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: Innovative Programs and Promising Practices: Indian and Native American Summer Youth Employment Initiatives and the 2009 Recovery Act


Major Findings & Recommendations

The following findings are noted in the introduction to this publication: • "Youth and their communities had very high levels of need for specific employment programs and for more general positive influences in the community. • Recovery Act funds enabled sites to serve larger numbers of youth and older youth, up to age 24, than they had previously been able to serve, all of whom have significant need for employment training and work opportunities. • Even with the introduction of additional Recovery Act funds, programs continued to experience excess of demand for services, with numbers of youth in need of and applying for SYEI programs far exceeding the number of participant slots available. • Recovery Act funds supported the introduction of additional highly needed jobs skills and educational and cultural components into summer youth employment programs. • Sites used Recovery Act funds to provide supplemental life skills training in such highly needed areas as leadership and financial literacy. • Sites used Recovery Act funds to innovate by serving new groups of youth, such as those in the juvenile justice system, and offering new worksite opportunities, such as green jobs. • Well-established summer youth employment programs and existing relationships with employers and other community partners enabled sites to absorb and use Recovery Act funds quickly and effectively. • Dedicated program staff played a crucial role in designing, innovating, and implementing programs and in bonding with, providing guidance to, and mentoring youth. • Most sites lacked the funds and staff available to provide post-summer/post-program follow-up to youth, despite youth interest in and demand for these kinds of post-program services. • Despite acquiring new job skills and certifications, not all youth who wanted permanent job placement were able to obtain it through the SYEI or after program completion. • Youth and employers regard summer youth employment programs as highly beneficial to youth, themselves, and their communities. • A significant majority both of study sites and all sites nationally met their performance measures by a significant margin" (p.xiv-xv) (Abstractor).