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Juvenile Justice and Workforce Development Leaders Plot Path to Better Collaboration

On Wednesday, March 29, the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) and Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. (YAP) convened a dozen workforce-development and juvenile-justice leaders in Washington, D.C., for a dialogue to break down misconceptions and identify new avenues for collaboration between the systems. Despite many sets of recommendations over the years, justice-involved youth still are not served at high rates by the workforce-development system. With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, NYEC and YAP will be distilling lessons learned and making policy and practice recommendations. One lesson learned was that workforce and juveniles justice leaders both felt that the other system had barriers to working together effectively, such as extensive background checks, antiquated policies, and risk aversion. Yet leaders from all agencies expressed a deep desire to discover new paths forward in serving more justice-involved young people. NYEC and YAP hope to continue supporting these and other leaders to act upon their recommendations at the federal, state, and county levels.