recommendations

leaky pipe:

disconnection in the education system

  • Smooth high school to post-secondary transitions:

    • Recalibrate messaging: Elevate quality career pathways that do not require a BA, redefine “college” to include certificates and apprenticeships, etc

    • High schools develop and expand programs and resources onsite to facilitate transition from HS Diploma to college and/or career preparation

    • Facilitate post-secondary matriculation, including support for completing FAFSA

    • Expand work-based learning opportunities, exposure to world of work

    • Expand access to practical job readiness preparation

    • Help youth identify their strengths, interests and values and ways to capitalize on those

    • Embed soft-skill development – communication, resilience, collaboration, work ethic - at all levels of education

  • Expand access to high school completion options that work:

    • Develop a shared position and perspective on high-quality drop-out recovery options

    • promote, fund, and support these options to schools, parents, youth, services providers, and other stakeholders.

  • Share data to support youth

    • Increase the number of data sharing agreements between schools and service providers to help support families and students before and immediately after dropping out.

  • Expand flexible post-secondary options:

    • to help overcome cost, transportation, child care, and future work schedules so youth can get reconnected while still meeting current and future life obligations.

    • Develop more “earn and learn” opportunities – such as apprenticeships -  for youth and young adults to provide for their families and continue along the education pipeline.

  • Keep families in the mix:

    • Deeper engagement with families and parents through partnerships between schools, non-profits, media outlets, government, and businesses to and information sharing with parents in dialogue and discussion on school resources, pathways, and resources to help empower and inform families.

  • Identify and support youth at risk of dropping out or graduating under-skilled early:

    • Encourage districts to deploy “early warning systems” that flag middle school and high school freshman students for intensive support who are truant, under-credited, under-literate

    • Engage community partners in the intervention plans for flagged students

  • Invest early:

    • Expand quality early childhood options and parenting support during critical brain building years 0-5

    • Quality pathways early ed – elementary- middle – high will have higher success rates than heroic recovery attempts with older youth

  • Keep it real:

    • Don’t lower the standards to award youth empty credentials but do honor and reward their skills and strengths

last in, first out:

youth unemployment

  • Develop a San Diego-specific tool kit to provide resources, partners, and guidance to San Diego employers in efforts to recruit, hire, and support Opportunity Youth in the work place. ​

  • Expand dedicated Opportunity Youth internship and job slots w/ public agencies ​

  • Connect the national “100K Opportunities”  initiative, and the large corporations that are leading them at the national level with local efforts ​

  • Develop policy solutions, dedicated funding, and/or shared resources to address transportation barriers.​

  • Connect with public housing leaders to explore ways to connect housing, employment, and education efforts in a more strategic way.  ​

  • Raise and expand local funding for promising opportunity youth interventions. 

recommendations

leaky pipeline:

DISCONNECTION IN THE

EDUCATION SYSTEM

93% of opportunity youth did not complete post-secondary education.

22% are high school non-completers.

51% have only a high school diploma.

21% have"some college."

 

  • Smooth high school to post-secondary transitions and improve post-secondary success

    • Expand efforts to engage students in learning about the universe of career options and how to pursue them — beginning early.

    • Embed the development of soft skills (communication, resilience, collaboration, etc) as well as job readiness skills like interviewing and resume development at all levels of education

    • Expand and strengthen career pathways, dual enrollment, admissions guarantees and other proven strategies that increase the likelihood of youth matriculating in their chosen post-secondary option.

 

  • Expand access to high school completion options that work

    • Develop a shared position and perspective on high-quality options for students who do not complete high school.

    • Promote, fund, and support the best options to schools, parents, youth, services providers, and other stakeholders and advocate to limit access to the worst options.

 

  • Expand flexible post-secondary options

    • Create more post-secondary choices that help overcome cost, transportation, child care, immigration status and work schedule barriers so youth can get reconnected while still meeting life obligations.

    • Develop more “earn and learn” opportunities — such as apprenticeships — for youth and young adults to provide for their families and continue along the education pipeline.

 

  • Invest in prevention

    • Expand quality early childhood options and parenting support during critical brain-building years 0–5.

    • Commit to early grades literacy, numeracy and English language mastery (or even better: biliteracy) so that academic foundations are strong.

    • Encourage districts to deploy “early warning” data systems that flag students for intensive support who are chronically absent, under-credited, under-literate.

 

  • Deepen partnerships with families and community

    • Increase the number of data sharing agreements between schools and service providers to support students who leave high school before graduating.

    • Forge deeper connections with families of middle and high school students so they are partners in all strategies to engage and re-engage their teens.

       

last in, first out:

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

15,000 opportunity youth are looking for work.

 

  • Support employers who are making a difference

    • Develop a toolkit to provide resources, partnership and guidance relevant to the unique challenges faced by San Diego employers hiring opportunity youth.

    • Connect with national and regional initiatives to publicly spotlight employers who intentionally hire opportunity youth.

 

  • Strengthen public and nonprofit sector partnerships

    • Create (or, for agencies already engaging in these activities, increase the amount of) internship opportunities reserved for opportunity youth in public agencies

    • Engage with public transit service providers to address transportation barriers for youth.

    • Work with public and nonprofit leaders to more strategically integrate housing, employment and education initiatives.

 

  • Build reliable, sustainable funding

    • Expand local funding for promising opportunity youth interventions.

    • Develop dedicated funding and/or shared resources to address housing, transportation and other barriers.

on the sidelines:

LOW LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION

65% of opportunity youth are not in the labor force (28,000 not actively looking for work).

 

  • Improve understanding

    • Coordinate research to better understand reasons for low labor market participation among opportunity youth.

    • Promote and strengthen promising alternatives to detention for young people involved in the criminal justice system.

    • Improve the quality and availability of child care for young parents so they are able to work and so their children are in caring, stimulating child care situations.

 

  • Encourage local conversation and collaboration

    • Develop a means for public systems to work intentionally and institutionally with community- and faith-based organizations to engage and support youth and their families.

    • Integrate mental healthcare systems with public employment and education systems.

    • Provide youth in public systems (like foster care, justice and housing systems) with direct referrals to youth employment programs as soon as they become eligible and/or enter those public systems.

    • Advocate for housing solutions for youth and young adults.

    • Expand understanding of options and opportunities for youth with tenuous immigration status.

thank you to our action plan Partners