Youth with justice involvement face a complex web of bias, racial discrimination, and structural barriers that prevent them from living healthy and productive lives. The federally funded workforce-development system has the potential to help these youth become economically self-sufficient and increase their chances of success–and has a statutory mandate to serve the hardest-to-serve young people. Collaboration among workforce partners, courts, and the various agencies that make up the juvenile-justice system can create an ecosystem of alternatives that keep young people safe in their community. This toolkit, directed at practitioners and leaders in the juvenile-justice system and others with limited familiarity with the workforce development system:
• Outlines evidence-based practices in youth workforce development,
• Provides an overview of the workforce system funded under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA),
• Makes recommendations for how to make WIOA-funded services work better for youth with justice involvement at the local level, and
• Lays out some key steps to forming effective interagency partnerships. These ideas are illustrated by success stories from around the country.