Youth Workforce Leaders Academy

Increasingly, policymakers and funders have a focused attention on the quality and capacity of the District’s youth workforce development sector. Despite the gains achieved by individual stakeholders over time, there remain opportunities to strengthen collaboration, quality and the overall infrastructure of the Youth Workforce Development (YWD) system.


In collaboration with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), DCAYA developed the Youth Workforce Leaders Academy (YWLA) in 2014 to provide structured, peer learning and professional development opportunities for direct service YWD providers. Each year, YWLA serves 15 mid-level YWD professionals within a District-focused learning community of experts. Each participant’s interests, strengths and opportunities for growth are explored in monthly in-person learning sessions that infuse national perspective and practices into the local expertise of the cadre.

The Academy culminates in the completion of a Capstone Project, in which new or improved professional practices are applied by each participant to address an organizational challenge or priority. In this way, YWLA strives to leverage each participant’s professional growth into lasting organizational impact.


“I learned a lot from the multitude of resources provided, the facilitators and guest speakers, and of course from peers.” – YWLA Year 1 Participant

“The program was an eye opening experience that helped change my approach to youth programs  from parent engagement, program design, and outcomes.” – YWLA Year 2 Participant


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