The success of young adults is crucial for the prosperity of our nation.

ENGAGING AND EMPOWERING OPPORTUNITY YOUTH

The success of young adults is crucial for the prosperity of our nation

Our nation is home to an estimated 4.6 million Opportunity Youth (also known as disconnected youth)—teenagers and young adults ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from both work and school. Opportunity Youth are disproportionately of color, live below the poverty line, and face multiple barriers to employment. However, with the right support, Opportunity Youth have great potential to help fill the nation’s talent shortages and thrive within their communities. We support organizations and programs that engage youth meaningfully and that prepare them to succeed in the workforce.

Workforce Development Youth | UnidosUSSource: Measure of America, March 2018: “More than a Million Reasons for Hope: Youth Disconnection in America Today”

YOUNG ADULT REENTRY INITIATIVE

Youth of color are also disproportionately affected by the justice system. Black and Latino youth are more likely to face harsher punishment by courts, receive school suspensions, and come in contact with the juvenile justice system as compared to White youth. Moreover, our nation’s imprisoned population is disproportionally Black and Latino.

Workforce Development Justice System | UnidosUSSource: Center for American Progress, May 2015: "8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color"

Contact with the justice system presents a high barrier to employment for individuals re-entering their communities, including close to 650,000 ex-offenders released from state or federal prison each year. 

The Young Adult Reentry Initiative works with Affiliates to provide justice-involved youth with education, job training, motivational coaching and supportive services that help them successfully transition back into their communities, secure gainful employment, and reduce recidivism rates.

PROGRAM SITES

Read our Reentry Initiative one-pager to find out more.


CONTACT US

Hiram Cortez
Program Coordinator, Workforce Development, UnidosUS
hcortez@unidosus.org

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