Describes employment trends of young males in the workforce by age and ethnicity, factors contributing to disconnection from employment for young men of color, and promising strategies and policies to improve employment outcomes for young men of color.

“While all young people are experiencing dramatic declines in employment, young men of color (particularly young Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native men) have been disproportionately affected…” (p.3). This brief describes:

·         [e]mployment trends over the last 15 years [and how they] reveal a steady decline of youth in the workforce and [how] boys and young men of color have been greatly impacted” (p.3)

·         “factors that keep young men of color out of the workforce, including discriminatory hiring practices, poor education, disproportionate incarceration rates, and lack of social contacts to vouch for their employability and connect them to future work opportunities…” (p.3) and

·         promising strategies and policy recommendations to improve employment outcomes for young men of color.

The brief also describes five examples of promising practice organizations including: PowerCorpsPHL in Philadelphia, Project Rise in Kansas City, MO, YouthSource System in Los Angeles, Las Artes Arts and Education Center in Pima County, AZ, and Youth UpRising in Oakland.

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Employment Pathways for Boys and Young Men of Color: Solutions and Strategies That Can Make a Difference


Major Findings & Recommendations

“Promising Strategies to Improve Employment Outcomes for Young Men of Color” (p.7) include: 1. “Provide Programming to Help Young Men of Color Master Early Work Skills….[T]he key to youth employment success includes mastery of social skills…, communication skills…, higher-order thinking…, self-control…, and positive self-concept…” (p.7). 2. “Broker Relationships with Employers to Help Young Men of Color Enter into Employment and Gain Work Experience….[S]takeholders can provide incentives for private sector involvement and assurances to employers…” (p.7). 3. “Implement Traditional and Non-traditional Employment Strategies to Achieve Results for Employers and Youth” (p.8). • “Subsidized employment” (p.8) • “Summer Jobs” (p.8) • “Tryout employment” (p.8) • “Publicly funded on-the-job training” (p.8) • “Customized training” (p.8) • “Youth Corps” (p.9) • “Career Academies” (p.9) Policy recommendations include: 1. “Maximize the Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)” (p.9). “States and local workforce development boards could better serve out-of-school youth, including young men of color, by: • Setting service goals, funding benchmarks, and prioritizing this population for workforce services beyond Title I Youth funding…” (p.10). • “Implementing subsidized employment options…for young men with limited work experience and those who face other barriers as a result of homelessness, involvement with the justice system, and/or behavioral and mental health challenges” (p.10). • “Making use of the on-the-job training emphasis in WIOA and connecting with employers to encourage utilization of the increased reimbursement rates to participating employers…” (p.10). • “Ensuring that state and local youth employment plans detail how they will support and implement a continuum of services and interventions for the targeted population along a career pathway…” (p.10). • “Leveraging WIOA strategic planning processes to connect to state and local education opportunities” (p.10). 2. “Expand and Invest in Ban the Box Policies and Enforcement….Federal, state, and local governments [could] adopt these fair hiring policies and work with the private sector to change their hiring practices” (p.11). 3. “Target Policies that Support Young Men of Color Who Are Fathers” (p.11). 4. “Promote Economic Security for Young Adults….[E]xpand the Earned Income Tax Credit…to childless workers under age 25” (p.11). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)