Building Partnerships to Improve Employment Training Programs for Young Adults in Cleveland | Cuyahoga County

Employment training organizations and agencies often work independently of each other, for reasons that may include interorganizational competition, limited knowledge of each other’s strengths, separate funding streams, and lack of resources (both time and financial). To more effectively serve youth and young adults, many organizations could benefit from opportunities to develop collaborative approaches. For its Generation Work project (see textbox at right), the Annie E. Casey Foundation focuses on increasing organizational collaboration across the employment training system. This case study focuses on how the local partnership in Cleveland|Cuyahoga County established a coalition across two organizations to better serve youth and young adults in the region.

Before 2015, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) and Towards Employment (TE)—two well-established employment training organizations in Cleveland—had not worked formally together. YOU is known for its focus on serving disadvantaged young adults in developmentally appropriate ways across the region, whereas TE offers a comprehensive set of occupational training programs across a large network of local partners. The Cleveland Generation Work team recognized that this partnership could build on the strengths of both organizations, thereby increasing their programming possibilities and allowing them to better meet young people’s myriad needs as they try to develop stable and strong careers.

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