Green For All Convenes Youth and Workforce Development Leaders

Authors: Vien Truong | Senior Associate On May 2, 2011, Green For All convened the Youth Employment and Leadership Ladders (YELL) working group. The working group, comprised of leading experts and practitioners working to create green career and postsecondary pathways for our nation's low-income and disconnected youth, will direct the focus of the Green Pathways Out of Poverty Community of Practice. Our country's underfunded school systems, persistently high drop-out rates, and increasingly technical labor demands mean that many of the future jobs will be out of reach for our youth, especially those in low-income communities and communities of color. These factors will widen the nation's wealth and achievement gap, unless significant efforts are directed at addressing this crisis. Together with the convening co-chairs Sally Prouty of The Corps Network and Antwi Akom of the Wangari Maathai Center for Sustainable Cities and Schools, Green For All facilitated discussions on green opportunity and the best practices many attendees employ. The working group concentrated on a number of key issues facing the field, including emerging green sectors and how youth could connect, how to support at-risk and disconnected youth to succeed, and how to work collaboratively to build career pipelines and supportive services able to provide the full range of services necessary to foster success. The working group closed the convening with a discussion of the role they would play over the next year, both in supporting the Pathways Out of Poverty Communities of Practice and in pursuing national advocacy goals. Green For All will benefit greatly over the next year from the wealth of knowledge the YELL working group members contribute towards youth workforce development. The real-life expertise that working group members bring will contribute greatly to our Pathways Out of Poverty Community of Practice members in the form of best practices, innovations, and tools for implementation as they work to create green jobs for our nation's youth.

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