The Minnesota Legislature authorizes the youth competitive grants in M.S. 116L.562, directing DEED to "award grants to eligible organizations for the purpose of providing workforce development and training opportunities to economically disadvantaged or at-risk youth ages 14-24." The total amount of funding appropriated in Laws of Minnesota 2017, Chap. 94, Art. 1, Sec. 2, subd. 3(a) and (cc) is $3,848,000 each year; $3,348,000 from the workforce development fund and $500,000 from the general fund. (Note: the legislation permits DEED to retain five percent of these funds for administration and monitoring, making the total amount available for grants equal to $3,655,600 per year).
A total of 22 proposals were funded for SFY 2016-2017 under the Youth at Work Competitive Grant Program. Forty-one proposals requesting over $14.7 million were received by DEED. Funding for the Youth at Work Competitive Grants is authorized by the Minnesota Legislature under Laws of Minnesota, 2015, Special Session 1, Chap, 1, Art. I, Sec. 3, subdivision 3(e) and subdivision 8. Special consideration was available for proposals which:
The following 22 organizations were funded for SFY 2016-2017.
|Organization||Area Served||SFY 2016 Grant Award||SFY 2017 Grant Award|
|City of Saint Paul||City of Saint Paul||$600,000||$600,000|
|City of Minneapolis||City of Minneapolis||$750,000||$750,000|
|Goodwill/Easter Seals||Benton, Kandiyohi, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, and Washington Counties||$125,000||$125,000|
|South Central Workforce Council||Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties||$125,000||$125,000|
|Rural Minnesota CEP||Becker, Beltrami, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Cass, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Morrison, Mahnomen, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wilkin and Wadena Counties||$125,000||$125,000|
|Workforce Development, Inc.||Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele and Wabasha Counties||$125,000||$125,000|
|City Academy||City of Saint Paul||$30,000||$30,000|
|City of Duluth||City of Duluth||$80,000||$80,000|
|Stearns-Benton Employment and Training Council||Benton and Stearns Counties||$125,000||$125,000|
|Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services||Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Renville, Sherburne and Wright Counties||$100,000||$100,000|
|Ramsey County Workforce Solutions||Ramsey County||$75,000||$75,000|
|Eastside Neighborhood Services||City of Minneapolis||$75,000||$75,000|
|Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board||City of Minneapolis||$100,000||$100,000|
|Hmong American Partnership||City of Saint Paul; Metro Area||$50,000||$50,000|
|HIRED||Hennepin and Ramsey Counties||$100,000||$100,000|
|Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency||Itasca and St. Louis Counties||$75,000||$75,000|
|Tree Trust||Metro Area||$120,600||$120,600|
|Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council||Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine Counties||$75,000||$75,000|
|Genesys Works||Metro Area||$50,000||$50,000|
|EMERGE||City of Minneapolis||$50,000||$50,000|
|CLUES||City of Saint Paul||$75,000||$75,000|
The Right Track Youth Employment Program is Saint Paul's pipeline for youth career development and building a diverse future workforce. Right Track brings together the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Public Schools, community-based organizations and private businesses to provide work readiness and employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth ages 14-24, as well as youth in this age group facing other barriers to employment. Right Track uses both a public non-profit (subsidized YJ01 jobs) and a private business collaborative model (employer-paid internships – YJ02 jobs) that maximizes the strengths of all partners and creates pathways for young people to grow and develop into productive, contributing adults.
Through the STEP-UP program, youth work in a wide range of job titles at Twin Cities' employers, which range from small employers to top Twin Cities' companies. The program is designed to engage Minneapolis youth in internships that explore their career interests, gain skills, make professional connections, and prepare them for meaningful future work. Whether it is a first job experience or a career pathway exploration, a STEP-UP internship helps young people discover careers and develop professional work experience, ultimately resulting in a young person being prepared to succeed in the workplace.
Through the Next Generation @ Work Program, Goodwill/Easter Seals guides economically disadvantaged youth, youth with disabilities, and youth from communities of color through orientation, case counseling, support in career exploration, work readiness classes and work experience in Goodwill stores and area businesses. Youth ages 17 to 24 will also be eligible to enroll in training and education programs and earn credentials related to the following industries: Automotive Service Technician, Banking and Finance, Financial Services, Construction, Customer Contact Center, Medical Office, Retail, and Computer Literacy 1 & 2.
The South Central Workforce Council project, "Dream It. Believe It. Achieve It.", will assist youth from communities of color in exploring, identifying and attaining positive education and career goals. Youth will be assessed for education, employment, transportation, housing, health, child care, and legal needs, and will work with an employment counselor to address these needs. Youth will participate in work experience and project-based opportunities. The program will engage youth and families and will provide cultural awareness to the community.
The Transitional Internship Experiences (TIE) project at RMCEP will link economically disadvantaged and/or at-risk youth ages 14-24 to Occupations in Demand (OID) in the service area. Internships with local OID businesses will provide a 200-hour work experience which exposes the youth to multiple aspects of the industry and provides an opportunity to develop marketable skills within the career pathway. Youth Counselors will use promising practices including an Integrated Resource Team, Roadmap for Success and Youth Action Plan to provide wraparound career counseling and support services to the intern.
The Emerging Leaders program of Workforce Development, Inc. will combine work experience and work readiness programs with a new approach that will focus on serving youth from populations who are underserved and under-represented in the workforce. These communities include out-of-school young adults, young adults from low-income families, youth who are habitually truant, and youth with disabilities, with a specific focus on youth from minority communities. The project includes a multi-tiered work experience and work readiness education model that incorporates community outreach and employer education.
City Academy's Construction Career Choices (CCC) program will provide a three-tiered career pathway model: work-based career exploration and credentialed pre-apprenticeship training/instruction and certification; private and public sector work experience; and unsubsidized entry-level employment in the construction field. Through intensive adult mentoring, support, and one-on-one case management/counseling, CCC provides individualized, wraparound services to at-risk dropout youth, ages 17-24, from communities of color.
Duluth Workforce Development's Yes! Duluth program is adopting a research-based model that involves youth in progressively more aggressive skill building and responsible job placements to build career skills that lead to permanent positions. Progressive work experiences may include internships in the private sector that lead to a career pathway with that employer or sector. A new collaboration with the Duluth Public Schools targets youth ages 16-18 who are at greatest risk of dropping out and/or failing to develop adequate job skills.
Stearns-Benton Employment and Training Council will offer youth opportunities to explore careers, receive career counseling, plan around career pathways including high wage and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, explore learning options including Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). Youth will complete and update personal learning plans and participate in experiential learning, including internships, work experience and service learning.
CMJTS Youth at Work will provide youth with work-based learning opportunities and short-term occupational training. Youth will complete a career assessment and be introduced to occupations with career ladders, have access to support services, and learn the importance of work-readiness skills. Older youth may participate in the Workforce Protégé Program where they receive additional career-focused information and mentoring from business owners and managers. Additional options available to youth may include on-the-job training and pre-apprenticeship opportunities.
Through Project MOSAIC, Ramsey County Workforce Solutions will increase career pathway options and develop work readiness skills in youth by offering work experiences connected to career pathways. The project will focus on the following industries: trades (construction, precision/advanced manufacturing and transportation); healthcare and human service; business/information technology/small business (entrepreneurship). Youth will gain awareness of the requirements and demands of these in-demand occupational clusters, and participate in activities such as volunteering, service learning, internships, paid work experience, and apprenticeships (where applicable) in these occupations.
Eastside Neighborhood Services is partnering with Connections to Independence, a nonprofit which provides unique programming and advocacy for foster care youth, to implement FutureConnect, a year-round career pathways program. The program will offer private sector internships and information and training about careers in high-growth, in-demand occupations. FutureConnect will offer opportunities for work skill development, exploration of high demand career pathways, worksite visits and guest speakers, advanced training leading to industry-recognized credentials, internships and job placement, with individualized support from experienced instructors and employment counselors.
Teen Teamworks provides Minneapolis youth with the opportunity to learn appropriate work maturity skills through a combination of work experience and academic enrichment. Helping youth acquire an appreciation for the connection between academic, social, judgment, and job skills is the primary focus of the program. By integrating the educational sessions into the workday, classroom instruction and workplace experience reinforce the student's work experience.
Hmong American Partnership (HAP), in collaboration with American Indian Family Center, will launch an East Side Youth Jobs Campaign for Southeast Asian and Native youth from the East Side and Frog Town neighborhoods of Saint Paul. HAP will partner with private employers and post-secondary training institutes to provide employability skills training and paid work experience through four tracks: construction, information technology, health and human services. Youth will be offered entry level course credits or certification in a field.
HIRED's Youth Directions project will assist foster care youth and homeless youth in becoming financially stable by increasing educational attainment and learning about in-demand career pathways that lead to self-sustaining employment. Comprehensive services include: assessment and ongoing case management; development of a life plan with goals related to education and employment; housing stabilization services; enrollment in high school completion programs; work readiness training and coaching; information and coaching regarding career pathways; post-secondary or occupational training enrollment and support; subsidized work experience; job placement and retention support.
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency's Pathways to Employment Readiness for Youth (PERY) program will include case management, specialized training during a paid work experience, and post-program job placement. Each participant will be provided with life skills and work skills training, goal setting assistance through Steps to Economic and Personal Success (STEPS), basic literacy skills and financial literacy training. Training and work experience will be offered in the hospitality industry or construction trades.
Youthprise will support local partners with deep connections to Minnesota's East African businesses, educational and nonprofit communities as they provide work readiness and workforce development activities to Twin Cities Metropolitan Area youth, with an emphasis on communities with large concentrations of East African youth. The Minnesota East African Youth at Work initiative will prepare youth for work in high-demand industries, including health care, customer service, skilled trades, construction and transportation.
Tree Trust will provide summer and non-summer work experiences, employment readiness training, and introduction to career pathways to economically disadvantaged and/or at-risk youth, ages 14-24. The program will feature paid job training through summer Youth Conservation Corps and year-round Young Adult Conservation Corps, along with individual employment experience placements with private sector employers.
Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council's Young Adult Career Pathway project will offer comprehensive training to youth and young adults ages 14-24 who traditionally face barriers to successful employment, with priority for out-of-school youth, youth in foster care, youth involved with the juvenile justice system, teen parents receiving MFIP or youth from MFIP households, youth with disabilities, youth from communities of color who are underrepresented in the workforce, homeless and/or runaway youth. The fundamental career and technical skills training will concentrate on high-growth, in-demand industries in southwest Minnesota. Complimentary career pathway training, work experience, academic credit, college credit, and support services will be provided through the project partnership.
Genesys Works will provide a program with three interlocking core components: an eight-week summer boot camp with a curriculum concentrating on professional and business technology skills; paid internships at a corporate partner which provide an opportunity to apply the skills learned during the summer training and gain meaningful professional experience in the Information Technology field; and college counseling sessions during the youth's senior year to help the student develop a plan to successfully pursue a postsecondary credential and navigate a future career path.
EMERGE will provide youth employment services, in-demand industry training, and paid work experiences to youth in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. The West Bank GPS (Gateway to Professional Success) project will focus on work experience in the information technology field, with additional specific exploratory opportunities in the healthcare and manufacturing industries. Youth will have an opportunity to earn IT credentials and access a wide array of additional training opportunities provided by EMERGE and partners as the youth move forward on career pathways.
CLUES Jóvenes Adelante Program reaches under-represented high school youth from low-income Latino and new immigrant families and prepares them to become prosperous and productive adults. Through this culturally competent, year-round program, Latino youth are introduced to career pathways, attain work readiness skills, engage in work experience in partnership with local companies in the private sector, and are supported to obtain meaningful jobs for the summer.