In 2018, just 4% of the 161,288 youth served by the federal workforce training system were in foster care or the juvenile probation system, despite their critical need for employment and training services.
At age 21, almost half of foster youth are unemployed and of those who are employed, 70% live below the federal poverty level. JBAY is working to remove barriers to employment and lift youth out of poverty by increasing access to federally funded workforce training for systems-involved youth.
As part of the Bay Area Transition Age Youth (TAY) Workforce Initiative, JBAY is working to increase access to the federal workforce training system by pursuing a federal waiver that will expand eligibility to this critical program. Currently, youth in foster care or the juvenile probation systems have limited access to federal workforce training if they are not “out-of-school.” The federal waiver will allow youth in foster care or the juvenile probation system to be considered eligible for services.
Once the waiver is received, JBAY and its partners will work with local workforce development boards to implement the waiver and adopt best practices for youth who have been in foster care or the juvenile probation systems.
The Bay Area TAY Workforce Initiative is a collaboration, funded by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and Tipping Point. Santa Clara-based Pivotal is the project lead with technical assistance provided by New Ways to Work and JBAY. The LA Opportunity Youth Collaborative will share how a similar federal waiver was implemented in Los Angeles County. California Opportunity Youth Network will bring together youth employment providers to partner with local workforce development boards.