Young Adult Initiative

As the numbers of young adults disconnected from work and education continue to rise, the National Fund’s Young Adult Initiatives aim to test and implement new strategies for connecting America’s young adults to meaningful employment.

Started in 2013 with the Youth/Industry Partnership Initiative (YIPI), the Young Adults Initiative has supported the development and evaluation of innovative approaches to preparing and placing young adults in successful careers. Supported by Rockefeller Foundation YIPI funded three regional collaboratives to develop strategies for connecting young adults and created a learning community for other collaboratives. The National Fund is continuing to scale these insights with the support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Using Industry Partnerships to Serve Youth

The National Fund is working to isolate successful practices for serving young adults and promote investments in the skills and education America’s young adults. A new report Connecting Young Adults to Skills and Jobs presents lessons and recommendations from communities across the National Fund network using industry partnerships to serve young adults.

The Young Adult Initiative has developed new insights in youth recruitment and placement by:

  • Identifying effective methods for connecting youth to industry partnerships and industry-vetted resources and educations;
  • Describing the characteristics of effective partnerships between employers and education and training providers;
  • Running the Maintain the Young Adult Employer Champion program to recognize businesses across industries that effectively recruit, hire, train, retain, and advance young adult workers; and
  • Cultivating a network of top organizations employing young adults and sharing these business practices among National Fund communities and partners.

Ultimately, the National Fund’s Young Adult Initiative seeks to develop a deep understanding of how industry partnerships can help connect young adults out of school or work to quality jobs.

Young Adult Employer Champions

Since 2015, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions has recognized businesses as Young Adult Employer Champions. These organizations have made substantial commitments toward helping to create well-paying, market-driven careers for young adult workers in their regions. As a result of hiring young employees and providing career-building opportunities, they have seen a multitude of company-wide successes, from improving retention and employee engagement to minimizing recruitment and turnover costs.

The National Fund has recognized the following businesses:

  • Brown’s Super Stores, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champion
  • Montefiore Health System, Bronx, NY, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • Nationwide, Des Moines, IA, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • Starbucks, Boston, MA, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • Starbucks, Philadelphia, PA, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • Walgreens Corporation, Chicago, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • Zaxby’s, Deland, FL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions
  • FELSOMAT USA, Inc., Schaumburg, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • North American Lighting, Paris, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Principal Manufacturing Corporation, Broadview, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation, Vernon Hills, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Sayre Health Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Techtonic Group LLC, Boulder, CO, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • TRUMPF Inc., Farmington, CT, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Wepco Plastics, Inc., Middlefield, CT, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • WITTENSTEIN North America, Bartlett, IL, 2017 Young Adult Employer Champions – Pathways to Apprenticeship
  • Advanced Composites and Metalforming Technologies, Inc. (ACMT), Manchester, CT (manufacturing), 2016 Champion
  • Austal USA, Mobile, AL (shipbuilding), 2016 Champion
  • Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA (retail/grocery/hospitality), 2016 Champion
  • State Street Corporation, Boston, MA (financial services), 2016 Champion
  • Okay Industries, Inc., New Britain, CT (manufacturing), 2016 Champion
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, PA (health care), 2016 Champion
  • Sinai Hospital/LifeBridge Health, Baltimore, MD (health care), 2015 Champion
  • Suffolk Construction, Boston, MA (construction), 2015 Champion
  • PTR Baler and Compactor, Philadelphia, PA, (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • AugustaWestland, Philadelphia, PA (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • Carey-Floyd Manufacturing, Cromwell, CT (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • Keats Manufacturing Company, Wheeling, IL (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • Mallory Industries, Inc., Farmington, CT (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • Swiss Post Solutions, Inc., New York, NY (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Stamford, CT (hospitality), 2015 Champion
  • Pointe Precision, Inc., Plover, WI (manufacturing), 2015 Champion
  • OpenSquare, Seattle, WA (business services), 2015 Champion