Measures the impact of the Youth Opportunity (YO) Initiative in targeting distressed neighborhoods throughout the U.S., and highlights effective practices for serving youth.

"In 2000, the Employment and Training Administration awarded grants to 36 communities to provide services – including education, employment, support, and leadership development – to youth ages 14 to 21 in high poverty areas. The grants ranged from $3 million to $44 million over five years (2000 to 2005). The objective of the Youth Opportunity Grants Initiative (YO) was to concentrate a sufficient level of funds in high poverty areas to improve the long-term educational and employment outcomes of youth living in these areas and to serve a high enough proportion of those youth to positively affect peer pressure. The study concluded that YO succeeded in concentrating large amounts of resources in high poverty areas and reaching a large proportion of the youth in those areas. The study also concluded that positive community-level impacts are achievable for communities such as those served by YO, especially with regard to educational outcomes"(Abstract).

The evaluation included four distinct components--an ethnography, impact analysis, Management Information System evaluation, and a process evaluation; a separate report exists for each component. The URL links to a DOL page from which each report can be accessed, as well as an Executive Summary of all four. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

- "YO increased the labor-force participation rate overall and specifically for teens (ages 16 to19), women, native-born residents, Blacks, and ISY. YO also increased the employment rate among Blacks, teens, OSY, and native-born youths and had a positive effect on the hourly wages of women and teens" (p.20). - "YO reduced full-time employment among the employed overall and for many subgroups, most notably ISY and OSY, females, older youths, and whites. YO also appeared to decrease significantly the full-time employment rate for ISY" (p.20). - "YO had a positive impact overall on increasing the percentage of the youths with at least an eleventh-grade education, reducing the percentage of youths who were not in school, and increasing the percentage in secondary school" (p.21). - "YO also had a significantly positive effect on reducing the number of OSY and out-of-work (disconnected) youths overall and for males and females, 20- to 21-year-olds, Blacks, Hispanics, native-born youths, and foreign-born youths" (p.21).(Abstractor: Author)