Youth Workforce Development programs prepare young people for future educational and career success. For young people to thrive as adults, they need a strong academic foundation and the ability to be successful in a career. Work readiness and careers are cultivated from an early age, with a range of experiences in the home, classroom, community, and on the job. Meaningful work readiness and workplace experiences offer young people:
• Relevant learning experiences including problem-solving skills
• Leadership and skill-building opportunities
• Positive alternatives
• Opportunities to identify and develop their strengths
• A chance to explore post-secondary pathways
• A method for them to contribute to the vitality of San Francisco
In addition to these benefits for young people, a citywide emphasis on youth workforce development helps ensure employers have a ready supply of local talent to meet industry demands, and the city economy ultimately benefits from growth of jobs, incomes and businesses.
As the largest funder of youth workforce development programs serving youth ages 13-21 in San Francisco, DCYF is committed to ensuring that young people have opportunities that prepare them for the future.
DCYF allocates $9.5 to $11 million annually on programs focused on Youth Workforce Development.
Our Goals and Priorities
DCYF has worked with the Office of Economic & Workforce Development and the San Francisco Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council to collaboratively engage the community, key stakeholders, and internal and external partners to assess San Francisco’s youth workforce services and priorities and develop a cohesive strategy for youth workforce services for young people ages 13 to 24. Through these processes, the following were identified as overarching common goals or priorities:
• Enhance the educational component of workforce services for youth and emphasize the role of educational attainment in future career pathways;
• Improve inter-agency partnerships to facilitate the process of connecting target populations with appropriate youth workforce services;
• Involve employers and workplace partners to align youth workforce services to demand and emerging industry sectors;
• Ensure that youth have the knowledge, skills and opportunities to make progress toward reaching education and career goals;
• Provide a continuum of experiences to support youth career preparation;
• Fund comprehensive programming that addresses the educational, career, and transition to post- secondary needs of youth, as well as provide needed wraparound supports;
• Achieve integration of citywide summer youth job programs to ensure priority populations are served; and
• Improve the capacity and impact of providers by utilizing evidence-based program models.
Standards are practices or essential elements of operation that are widely recognized as leading to program excellence and positive outcomes for recipients. They provide a foundation for program quality and a benchmark for professionalism in the service delivered.
DCYF supported the development of and in 2010 adopted the Citywide Minimum Quality Standards for Youth Workforce Programs. These standards are based on Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet) quality standards created by the National Youth Employment Coalition. The standards fall into three categories: Management and Administration, Programmatic Approach and Youth Development Competencies.
Two levels of standards were created – those which are threshold standards that an organization or program must meet to be considered for funding and a second tier of standards which would be weighted in funding considerations.