DCAYA believes that there are multiple viable pathways for youth to become successful and productive members of society. We focus on areas of Youth Workforce Development to ensure that the District continues to develop and strengthen its system of work-readiness services, skills training and certification programs, and employment opportunities for young people.

Contact us

Email Amy Dudas, our Director of Re-engagement & Workforce Initiatives, with any Youth Workforce Development related questions, comments, concerns, or general information.


From the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP):

The Alliance, or AQCP, is a partner-driven, CLASP-led initiative funded by the Joyce Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Greater Twin Cities United Way. The Alliance’s goal is to help state and local/regional partnerships strengthen their career pathway systems. In 2012, CLASP invited ten leading career pathway states and their local/regional partners to join Phase I of the Alliance (2012-2014). CLASP and the Alliance partners jointly developed and provided consensus support for the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework 1.0, which establishes a common understanding of quality career pathways and systems.

This 2018 brief explores the role of “now jobs” in workforce development, how workforce service providers are using wage subsidies to engage with employers and maximize the benefits of “now jobs” to their participants, and some of the challenges this approach presents in practice. “Now jobs” help connect young adults to employment that addresses immediate income needs, provides them with valuable work experience, and improves their social capital by connecting them to networks of employed adults.

This analysis of the District’s workforce development system from 2011 makes recommendations on how DC can increase the proportion of young people earning an educational credential beyond high school and obtaining a full-time job.

This paper from 2015 builds on evidence for supporting opportunity youth in employment services through extensive interviews with employment program providers who have had success in helping opportunity youth thrive in the workforce. Six principles for effectively serving these youth are identified.

This primer on youth workforce development was prepared by Jobs for the Future for the U.S. Department of Education in 2016. The brief details basic components of workforce development, provides examples of these programs across the country, lays out federal sources of workforce development funding, and shares research on best practices in the field.

This 2015 research focuses on demand-driven approached to workforce development with strong employer participation. Beyond educating, training, and preparing young people for the world of work, this paper recommends enhancements to youth workforce development that incorporate stronger employer involvement.


The Office of Youth Programs (OYP) develops and administers workforce development programs for District youth ages 14-24. OYP provides occupational skills training, work experience, academic enrichment and life skills training to facilitate the development of work habits and skills that are essential for success in the workplace.


CLASP works to strengthen federal and state education and training policy to ensure that low-wage workers and low-income individuals can enter and advance in the labor market, and to make sure that American businesses have access to workers with skills they need to compete. It also develops and advocates for policies that connect individuals with low basic skills to postsecondary education and jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.

The National Youth Employment Coalition improves the effectiveness of organizations that seek to help youth become productive citizens through a range of projects, programs, and activities that track, craft, and influence policy, set and promote quality standards, provide and support professional development, and build and increase the capacity of organizations and programs.

Youth Radio is the nations premiere youth-driven journalism organization. For over two years, Youth Radio was contracted by the New Options Project to explore stories related to youth employment, career training, and the skills gap. Archived here are a selection of the roughly 150 stories produced over that period.