Growing evidence suggests that Positive Youth Development (PYD), a holistic approach to developing assets and competencies, can help prepare young people for success in adulthood, including success in the workplace. At its core, PYD focuses on creating a supportive, developmentally appropriate learning setting by emphasizing positive relationships; supporting youth to improve academic, soft, and technical skills; creating linkages that support young adults across schools, family, work, and community; providing opportunities to give back to one’s community or program; and investing in the creation of trustworthy, safe spaces.
As part of its Generation Work initiative, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is working with local partners in five cities and a network of national organizations to understand how practitioners in workforce training settings can use PYD strategies to prepare young people-—especially low-income young people of color-—for employment in several high-growth industries. Each industry was chosen based on its competitiveness in each of the five cities. Employment training represents a new setting for PYD, and this brief highlights some of the first evidence for how to incorporate PYD approaches into such training settings.
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