By the mid-2000s, growing recognition of the magnitude of the out-of-school, out-of-work young adult crisis in New York City sparked the publication of several groundbreaking reports. These reports focused attention on the need for an independent entity to unite funders, practitioners, government officials, employers and other stakeholders in common cause, serving as catalyst for the creation and evolution of JobsFirstNYC. These reports include:
- Mark Levitan, Out of School, Out of Work . . . Out of Luck?: New York City’s Disconnected Youth (Community Service Society, January 2005). One of the first major studies of New York City’s “disconnected youth,” defined as 16- through 24-year-old who are neither attending school nor participating in the labor force. The study showed that disconnected young people are an “at risk” group, more likely than other young people to engage in activities that are destructive to themselves and their communities. Adults who have experienced prolonged spells of disconnection in their youth are more likely than other adults to experience long bouts of joblessness and earn lower wages throughout their lives.
- New York City’s Young Adult Task Force, The Time is Now: Implementing One System for New York City’s Emerging Workforce (November 2005). A call to action by fifty influential stakeholders focused on reducing the number of disengaged young people in New York City.
- David Jason Fischer, Chance of a Lifetime (Center for an Urban Future, May 2006). This report highlighed the unprecedented opportunity to move substantial numbers of young, at-risk New Yorkers into career-track jobs created by the impending retirement of tens of thousands of Baby Boomers. The report identified specific fields expected to face significant demand for new workers with modest education and training in the coming decades.
- Laura Wyckoff, Siobhan M. Cooney, Danijela Korom Djakovic and Wendy S. McClanahan, Disconnected Young People in New York City: Crisis and Opportunity(PPV, 2008). Commissioned by JobsFirstNYC, this report examines what is known about New York City’s disconnected youth—16- to 24-year-olds who are not working and are not in school. The report explores the roots of disconnection and identifies five priority populations of young people who are at high risk of becoming disconnected. It presents information about specific areas of the city with high concentrations of disconnected young people and summarizes a number of promising strategies for reclaiming this important human resource.
The reports are collected in a single .zip folder for easy download.