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Denver Workforce Center

Youth Summer Job Strategy

Community Challenge/Problem

It is often overwhelming for youth to know where to begin looking for a summer job. Although the Denver Workforce Center program options for youth differs based on the age group(s) served, and the funding requirements often dictate a specific population, the organization found that it is a stronger strategy to reach out generally to the public with an overall message that Denver Workforce Centers offer a range of options for youth and young adults, and then work on a case-by-case approach to determine precisely which program or service (or combination) is the right fit after the individual has enrolled and completed a general profile/application. This way, a young person does not have to self-select on their own which training or job program is right for them.

Board Solution/Innovation

Denver Workforce has expanded its community outreach in Spring 2015 to strengthen its roster of summer youth programs. One huge boost to the outreach occurred in the form of a joint event with Denver Public Schools, when the Center developed and staffed a very successful 12th grade Career Fair at the beginning of March. There, the Center signed up more than than 150 youth to attend informational sessions and be screened for eligibility and interest in CCFExO, WIA, and summer employment.

Outcomes & Results

The Mayor's Office did a news release at the end of March about Denver's 2015 youth programs, which referenced our summer jobs, WIA, and CCFExO programs in addition to shorter-term "career academies" for 14-15 year olds planned for summer as well. The Mayor also send a special letter to about 3,000 Denver employers, urging them to support our local youth and create jobs and internships, depending on their industry and interest. We anticipate that this general-to-specific strategy will work with employers as well - first by promoting the general idea of investing in tomorrow's workforce, and then specifically work to define which kind of position, internship, or involvement is the right approach for each business.

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