The most promising cornerstone for a national workforce agenda is one that offers prosperity for 5.5 million Americans aged 16-24 who are currently out of school and out of work.
These youth are an increasingly vulnerable population commonly referred to as “opportunity youth.”
Opportunity youth face considerable challenges to their educational and economic mobility. Many of them are counted among the estimated 1 million students who drop out of high school each year.
Nearly a quarter have exited college without a degree and the credentials they need due to financial constraints.
Workforce development programs are often geared toward adult workers. But thinking about workforce development efforts as individual investments in human capital suggests that targeting younger people may yield high returns.
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